All civilian women, children and the elderly trapped in the besieged Azvastal steel plant in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol have been rescued.
Ukrainian officials made the announcement on Saturday. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuchuk said in a telegram on the exchange platform that the humanitarian rescue operation in Mariupol had ended. Russia has said the same thing. News agency Reuters.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 300 civilians had been rescued from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. In the second phase, plans are being made to rescue the injured people and soldiers from there. However, the Ukrainian president thinks it will be very difficult.
Many Ukrainians have been stranded in the besieged Mariupol for almost two months since the start of the war. Hundreds of fighters, including women, children and the elderly, hid in the city’s Ajvastal steel plant as their last refuge. Despite taking control of the entire city, the steel plant is still occupied by Ukrainian troops.
However, in the final stages, Russia, in cooperation with the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided an opportunity to evacuate civilians from the steel plant.
Zelensky thanked Guterres for successfully evacuating hundreds of civilians from the factory, led by the United Nations and the Red Cross. He called on the United Nations last week to help evacuate all those injured.
Russia announced a ceasefire last Thursday to allow more civilians to evacuate from the Ajax factory. The exit from the factory was announced on May 5, 6 and 7 in Moscow from 6 am to 6 pm.
In an online post, the Russian military said at the time that it would suspend all operations and move the units to a safe distance.
Russia launched an attack on Ukraine on February 24. In addition to missile and air strikes, Russian forces initially launched ground operations from the north, east and south. Later, in the face of resistance from Ukrainian forces, Moscow withdrew its forces from the north and intensified its attacks on the east and south.
The capture of the town of Mariupol, with a population of about 500,000, is one of the main targets of the Russian military. The important city is also close to Ukraine’s strategic port in the Azov Sea and the Russian-backed separatist-controlled territories in the Donbass region.