Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has told reporters in Zaporizhzhia that a convoy of 106 people evacuated from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol is expected to arrive later Tuesday.
But she said hundreds of others trying to leave Mariupol and other Russian-occupied areas were being prevented from doing so by Russian forces.
Vereshchuk said that the ceasefire around Azovstal had not been long enough to get all civilians out, “so hundreds more women, children and the elderly are under the rubble.”
She said there were also 40 seriously injured soldiers trapped at the plant in urgent need of medical care.
Of the 150 people who had been able to leave the ruined complex, she said, 106 had been sent to Zaporizhzhia.
Vereshchuk accused the Russians of changing agreements about the evacuations, which meant that people from occupied towns like Tokmak and Vasylivka, which are south of Zaporizhzhia, could not leave.
The evacuation from Azovstal was brokered and organized by the United Nations and International Red Cross.
“It is an immense relief that some civilians who have suffered for weeks are now out,” International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer said Tuesday.
“The ICRC hasn’t forgotten the people who are still there, nor those in other areas affected by the hostilities or those in dire need of humanitarian relief, wherever they are. We will not spare any effort to reach them,” he added.
Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: WATPFC