About 40 civilians were evacuated this Sunday (1st) from the bunkers of the Azovstal steelworks, in Mariupol.in Ukraine, where they hid underground, huddled under blankets, trying to protect themselves from Russian bombing.
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The rescue operation was engineered by the United Nations (UN) and the International Red Cross, which reached an agreement to ease tensions in the area.
Until the last update of this report, approximately 1,000 people were still waiting for help to get out of the steel mill.
- READ TOO: Two days ago, 600 people were injured in an attack on the Azovstal steelworks
Mariupol is under Russian control, but some Ukrainian fighters and civilians have taken shelter in Azovstal — a large Soviet-era factory founded in the days of Josef Stalin, full of labyrinths and tunnels designed to withstand attack.
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After a photographer with the Reuters news agency on Sunday witnessed dozens of civilians arriving at a temporary accommodation centre, the UN confirmed what it called a “safe passage operation to evacuate people from the steelworks”.
Civilians leaving the area of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol walk accompanied by a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) — Photo: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
“At this time, and as operations are ongoing, we will not share further details as this could compromise the safety of civilians and the convoy,” said Saviano Abreu, a UN spokesperson.
According to the photographer, civilians (including children) arrived in the village of Bezimenne, about 30 km from Mariupol, and were given water and care after weeks of suffering.
Valeria, an employee at the steel mill Azovstal, hugs her son Matvey (Photo: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)
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