Ukraine conflict: 20 civillians leave besieged steel factory in Mariupol

Edited By: Manas Joshi
Mariupol Updated: May 01, 2022, 09:26 AM(IST)

Ukraine conflict: 20 civillians leave besieged steel factory in Mariupol. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The Azovstal Steelworks complex is the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol. Ukrainian soldiers, along with citizens are holed up inside the factory

Ukrainian soldiers were quoted by news agency AFP to say that a group of 20 civillians are leaving the besieged steel factory in Mariupol. The Azovstal Steelworks complex is the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol. Ukrainian soldiers, along with citizens are holed up inside the factory. Russia has already declared that it has control of the important port city.

"Twenty civilians, women and children... have been transferred to a suitable place and we hope that they will be evacuated to Zaporizhzhia, on territory controlled by Ukraine," said Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment. He was quoted by AFP.

They were still going through the rubble searching for civilians to rescue after a night of Russian bombardment there, he added, in a video posted on Telegram.

Earlier Saturday, a correspondent from Russia's TASS news agency reported from the city that 25 civilians -- including six children younger than 14 -- had quit the site.

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"All night, the enemy artillery bombarded the site," Palamar added.

"The ceasefire that should have started at 6:00 am (0300 GMT) didn't start until 11:00 am. Since then, the two sides have respected it," he added.

"The evacuation convoy we had been expecting at 6:00 am only arrived at 6:25 pm.

"The Azov regiment is still clearing the rubble to get civilians out," said Palamar. "We hope this procedure will continue that we will manage to evacuate all the civilians."

Palamar said that they were not trying to evacuate the wounded to Ukrainian-held territory.

There is a maze of Soviet-era underground tunnels underneath Azovstal steelworks. Several hundred Ukrainian soldiers and civillians have taken shelter in these tunnels.

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Ukraine's presidency said on Friday that the evacuation of some civilians from had been planned for that day.

(With inputs from agencies)

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