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It is hoped that evacuations from Mariupol will continue this morning

The continuation of evacuations of Mariupol residents is scheduled for this morning, following a first operation that removed a hundred civilians from the Azovstal factory, which is under siege by Russian forces in this strategic port in south-eastern Ukraine.

“On May 2, the evacuation in Mariupol will begin at 7 a.m. [6 heures à Paris] », announced Pavlo Kirilenko, regional governor of Donetsk, in the night from Sunday to Monday by telegram. It is not yet known whether new operations could actually be started.

This evacuation operation began on Saturday and was carried out in coordination between Ukraine, Russia and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It first affected civilians staying in the basements of the huge Azovstal Steelworks.

“Today, for the first time since the war began, this vital humanitarian corridor is operational. For the first time in this area there has been two days of real ceasefire.” of the steel complex, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message on Sunday evening.

“More than a hundred civilians have already been evacuated, mostly women and children”, the President said, adding that the first evacuees would arrive this morning in Zaporizhia, a city west of Mariupol. Mr. Zelensky added “I hope that the conditions will be met to continue the evacuations from Mariupol”.

However, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk recalled this “Hundreds of civilians remain stranded in Azovstal” next to the Ukrainian soldiers who are still resisting under the Russian bombs. “The situation has become a sign of a real humanitarian catastrophe as people lack water, food and medicines”she warned.

Especially as the Russian bombardments seemed to be resumed, according to Denys Chleha, commander of the 12and Operational Brigade of the Ukrainian National Guard.

“For the past two days, a ceasefire has been announced during the operation to take civilians out of the factory (…) two days of silence, but when the last civilian left the factory, which happened literally an hour ago, the factory began bombing again with all kinds of weapons.he said immediately after the evacuation in a video broadcast on Ukrainian television.

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