Mariupol – Record evacuation: – Managed it so far

For days, a large group of people, between 500 and 1,000 cars, had been waiting for approval from the Russian forces.

Yesterday they finally got to travel, and arrived the same day the city of Zaporizhia northeast of Mariupol.

According to an adviser to Mariupol’s mayor, the column was the largest to leave Mariupol since the outbreak of war on February 24 this year. Mariupol has become the very symbol of Russia’s destruction in Ukraine, and the city has been bombed since the first days of the war.

IN CRISIS: The Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol is the only one still held by Ukrainian soldiers in the city. Photo: Maxar
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– Destructive

For over two months, Ukraine has been trying to get civilians out of the city, mostly in stages. The refugees first had to travel 80 kilometers west from Mariupol and then the 200 kilometers north to Zaporizhia.

One of the evacuees, Nikolaj Pavlov (74) tells of a tough experience. The pensioner tells Reuters that he has lived in a basement in Mariupol for months after his apartment was bombed, and that a relative helped him get out.

GETTING OUT: OUT: The refugees from Mariupol arrived in the city of Zaporizhia late Saturday night.  Photo: Gleb Garanich / Reuters / NTB

GETTING OUT: OUT: The refugees from Mariupol arrived in the city of Zaporizhia late Saturday night. Photo: Gleb Garanich / Reuters / NTB
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– We managed it so far. There were many older people among us. The trip was devastating, but it was worth it, he says.

Soldiers in crisis

Mariupol is now completely occupied by Russia, with the exception of the Azovstal steelworks, where Ukrainian forces are still standing. There will be around a thousand soldiers left in the steelworks, and hundreds of them will be injured. Many civilians will also seek refuge in the steelworks. It is otherwise not known how many civilians are left in war-torn Mariupol.

SAVE US: Sergei Volyna begs world leaders to carry out the military procedure to retrieve people from the Mariupol garrison. Video: Facebook / Sergey Volina
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Ukraine is also trying to get the soldiers out of the steelworks.

“I share the fears and concerns of those who know the soldiers defending this fortress,” said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, according to the UNIAN news agency.

– But this is war, and miracles do not happen, it is only the bitter reality, she continues.

In recent days, Vereshchuk has been trying to find a solution for the Ukrainian soldiers who are trapped inside the huge industrial area and surrounded by Russian soldiers in the port city of southern Ukraine.

The UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross have assisted in the negotiations. Vereshchuk has spoken with Russian representatives, but she says “negotiations with the enemy are extremely difficult.” She emphasizes that they are doing everything they can to save the soldiers, but that “it is possible that the outcome will not satisfy everyone”, writes NTB.

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