February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The first civilians left the territory of the Azovstal plant

The operation under the auspices of the United Nations in Mariupol became possible after lengthy negotiations and against the background of the observance of the regime of silence by both sides.

Correspondents RIA News and TASS in the port city, it is reported that the first 25 civilians of the city came out of the cellars of Azovstal, among women – 6 children under 14 years old. Evacuation buses arrived in the area of ​​the besieged plant, accompanied by UN vehicles.

According to the deputy commander of the Azov regiment, Svyatoslav Palamar (Kalina), the number of evacuated civilians is slightly less, about twenty. He expressed the hope that they would all be transferred to Zaporozhye, which is under Ukrainian control:

From 6 in the morning we were waiting for the arrival of the evacuation column, but it arrived only at 18:25. As of 19:40, we have transported 20 civilians rescued from the rubble to the agreed place. These are women and children. We hope that these people will go in the agreed direction, namely to the city of Zaporozhye, in the territory controlled by Ukraine.

According to Palamar, from 11:00 on Saturday, a silence regime has been in effect at Azovstal. It was possible to rescue from the rubble and transfer 20 people for evacuation – women, children and the elderly. He also recalled that there are many people on the territory of the plant who need urgent medical care, and asked to guarantee their evacuation.

Meanwhile, the families of those who found themselves in the besieged port city took to the streets of the Ukrainian capital. They talk about the extremely difficult conditions in which there are about three thousand people who remain at Azovstal:

We do not live, we exist. We do not sleep, we do not get a piece of bread in our mouths, because we know that our husbands, our children are starving. They don’t have water, they don’t have medicine. I don’t think I have anything new to say. But as far as I know, they even run out of ammo.

According to approximate calculations, there may be about 100,000 civilians in Mariupol. Last Thursday, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held talks with UN Secretary General António Guterres and announced his readiness for urgent negotiations to evacuate people from Mariupol with the support of the UN, writes New newspaper Europe. António Guterres said that he was concerned about the situation in Mariupol and considered what was happening there “a crisis within a crisis.” “Thousands of civilians are in need of vital assistance. <…> They need a way of salvation from the apocalypse,” he said.

The Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported, citing sources, that earlier Pope Francis asked the Russian president three times to open corridors for the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, but was refused.

On April 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Vladimir Putin on the capture of Mariupol. Putin called the assault on the Azovstal industrial zone “unreasonable” and ordered cancel his. However, according to Ukrainian media reports, skirmishes and local battles continue in the city. Regiment of Azov posted a video with civilians located on the territory of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol blocked by Russian troops.

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