Over 300 rescued from Mariupol, as Zelensky pleads for more UN help

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 05 2022 11:09 AM

A man welcomes Anna and her son Svyatoslav who were evacuated from Mariupol at the evacuation point in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, May 3, 2022. Around 100 civilians were evacuated from the steel plant, the last Ukrainian-controlled area in the southern port city of Mariupol, according to Ukrainian officials. Thousands of people who were still in Mariupol and other areas in South Ukraine occupied by the Russian army waited to be evacuated to Ukraine's controlled area by buses and their own cars. Roman Pilipey, EPA-EFE
A man welcomes Anna and her son Svyatoslav who were evacuated from Mariupol at the evacuation point in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, May 3, 2022. Around 100 civilians were evacuated from the steel plant, the last Ukrainian-controlled area in the southern port city of Mariupol, according to Ukrainian officials. Thousands of people who were still in Mariupol and other areas in South Ukraine occupied by the Russian army waited to be evacuated to Ukraine's controlled area by buses and their own cars. Roman Pilipey, EPA-EFE

 

KYIV — Over 300 Ukrainians were evacuated from the battered city of Mariupol on Wednesday as President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the UN to help to rescue the remaining wounded trapped underneath the giant Azovstal steel plant.

Speaking to the nation in his usual evening address, Zelensky said 344 people were evacuated from Mariupol and nearby areas and headed northwest for the city of Zaporizhzhia, which is controlled by Kyiv.

But earlier in the day, he also pleaded with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to help rescue the wounded who are still sheltering at the plant.

"The lives of the people who remain there are in danger," Zelensky told Guterres by phone.

In a statement, the Red Cross said it was "relieved that more lives have been spared" and called for renewed efforts to continue evacuations from the region "in light of the immense suffering of the civilians." 

Meanwhile, fierce battles with Russian troops continued to rage at the Azovstal plant, where Ukrainian soldiers had been holed up for weeks. 

Moscow, which has denied any storming of the plant was taking place, said its forces would cease fire at the plant to open a humanitarian corridor for civilians for three days beginning Thursday.

"The Russian armed forces will from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 5, 6 and 7 open a humanitarian corridor from the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant to evacuate civilians," the defense ministry said Wednesday. 

Civilians sheltering at the plant will be allowed to travel to Russia or Kyiv-controlled territory, the statement added. 

In his conversation with Guterres, Zelensky said that this week's evacuations showed the world "that international organizations can be effective".

He "expressed hope for a successful continuation of the ongoing evacuation operation".

© Agence France-Presse 

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