UN Announces Second Civilian Withdrawal from Mariupol | World

The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, said that civilians are being evacuated from the Azovstal metallurgical complex, in Mariupol, Ukraine, this Thursday (5). This is the second wave of residents who manage to leave the city, the first to be overrun by Russian troops.

Azovstal, however, is the only point Ukraine still controls, and it is home to the rest of Kiev’s troops as well as hundreds of residents.

To facilitate the exit, Russia said it would establish a ceasefire for the evacuation of civilians throughout the day.

“As we speak, a second evacuation is underway, a second convoy from the UN and the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) is looking for civilians in the city of Mariupol,” Guterres said in an exclusive interview with RFI.

Earlier, Russia said a three-day truce in the Azovstal zone would take effect on Thursday.

Confrontation at Mariupol steel mill is increasingly fierce

Confrontation at Mariupol steel mill is increasingly fierce

On Wednesday, however, Ukraine said Russian troops in the city had invaded the Azovstal complex and bombed part of the site. When Russia announced the conquest of Mariupol two weeks ago, President Vladimir Putin assured that his soldiers would not invade Azovstal and would ensure the safety of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians inside the complex.

‘Difficult negotiation’ with Russia

In an interview, Guterres also spoke about the difficult negotiation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on April 26, in Moscow.

“It was with strength and emotion that I spoke to him about the need to evacuate civilians from the Mariupol plant. And at the end of our conversation, that allowed President Putin to promise to think about the issue. And a few minutes later, his foreign minister told me that he had a principled agreement,” he said.

When asked about the role of the United Nations in the conflict and his difficulty, as the organization’s secretary-general, in achieving a ceasefire, Guterres acknowledged that “this demonstrates that the power of the Secretary General of UN is much smaller than we thought.” But he said he will not give up, “I will never lose hope”, he added.

About Abhishek Pratap

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