Hundreds trapped in Mariupol steelworks despite evacuations
Hundreds of people are trapped in a steel plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol despite a group of evacuees escaping on Sunday. The plant has become the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in the city and therefore was a Russian target for bombardment over the past several weeks. The Azoystal plant’s commander, Danys Shlega, stated that some civilians had been evacuated but hundreds remained. Those remaining are enduring heavy shelling of the area.
The first group of evacuees from the plant are expected to arrive in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia later today. The UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped to facilitate the evacuation via an official convoy. Russia stated that some of the evacuees had been taken to a village controlled by separatists backed by Moscow, but state media later reported that the individuals would be allowed to travel to Ukrainian held territory if they wished. Russian president Vladimir Putin welcomed the news of evacuation in a Twitter post.