50 Civilians Evacuated From Mariupol Plant As Ukrainian Fighter Defy Russian Attacks

Heavy bombardment


Article heading image for 50 Civilians Evacuated From Mariupol Plant As Ukrainian Fighter Defy Russian Attacks

AP

Despite Russia's violation of local ceasefire efforts, the United Nations managed to evacuate dozens of civilians from the steelworks plant in the besieged city of Mariupol on Friday.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk confirmed that 50 women, children and elderly people were rescued from tunnels under the sprawling Soviet-era Azovstal plant, with the hope of bringing more people to safety on Saturday.

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It’s estimated that roughly 500 people have been evacuated from the steel mill and in Mariupol during two earlier evacuations coordinated by the UN and the Red Cross.

Under heavy bombardment, hundreds of soldiers and civilians have taken shelter in the plant’s underground tunnels, as Russia's war-efforts focused on Ukraine’s east and south, with Mariupol considered the prize trophy.

"There are many wounded [fighters], but they are not surrendering," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

"They are holding their positions," he said. "More than two months of constant shelling, bombing, constant death."

"Just imagine this hell! And there are children there"

- President Zelenskyy

Moscow's design to take control of Mariupol would deprive Ukraine of a vital port and see Russia create a land corridor between the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russian troops have failed to make any significant gains, with the besieged countries military’s General Staff on Friday confirming that its forces had repelled 11 attacks in the Donbas region.

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6 May 2022

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