Women, children and elderly evacuated from Azovstal steel plant
MARIUOPOL – Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that “all women, children and elderly people” have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant.
“The order of the president has been done,” she said. “This part of the Mariupol humanitarian operation has been completed.”
In brief comments to CNN from inside the Azovstal plant on Saturday evening local time, one of the Ukrainian defenders at the complex said that an evacuation of civilians had been conducted without incident.
The comments were made by Mykhailo Vershynin, the chief of the Mariupol Patrol Police. He gave no details about the number that had been able to leave.
Separately, the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russian forces continue to blockade the Ukrainian troops inside the plant and were using artillery and tank fire as they conducted assault operations.
As of Saturday morning local time, more than 100 civilians including children were still thought to be trapped inside the sprawling complex, along with several hundred soldiers, many of them injured. 150 civilians evacuated from Mariupol Saturday, according to self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic.
The self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic said that a total of 152 people have been evacuated from Mariupol Saturday.
It’s unclear whether the total includes any civilians who were trapped at the Azovstal steel plant.
The DPR said that “on 7 May, from 08:00 to 16:00, 152 people, including 32 children, were evacuated from Mariupol to Bezimenne, Novoazovsk district.”
“At the present moment, they are in the evacuation assistance point, which has been deployed by the DNR Ministry of Emergency Situations,” the DPR added.
There has been no comment from the Ukrainian side or the United Nations on the latest evacuations.
Russian forces continue to blockade Ukrainian troops inside plant
and using artillery and tank fire as they conducted assault operations