Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk She said It was evacuated “all women, children and the elderly” from the steel plant in Azovstal.
“The president’s order has been carried out,” she said. This part of the Mariupol humanitarian operation has been completed.”
In brief remarks to CNN from inside the Azovstal plant Saturday night local time, one of the Ukrainian defenders at the complex said the evacuation of civilians took place without incident.
These comments were made by Mikhailo Vershinin, police chief of the Mariupol patrol. He did not give details of the number of those who managed to leave.
Separately, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russian forces continue to surround Ukrainian forces inside the factory and use artillery and tank fire while conducting offensive operations.
What does Russia say: A senior Russian official agreed to complete the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal steel plant.
Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Center for Defense Management, said Russia has evacuated a total of 51 civilians from Azovstal, in cooperation with the United Nations and the Red Cross, since May 5. One person evacuated Saturday.
The Russian account, reported by state news agency TASS, appears to match the Ukrainian government’s account.
The total number of evacuees of 51 is well below previous estimates of the number of civilians still trapped in Azovstal. As of Saturday morning local time, it was believed that more than 100 civilians – including children – were still trapped inside the sprawling compound, along with several hundred soldiers, many of whom were wounded. It is unknown how many men besides the Ukrainian soldiers may still be in the sprawling compound.
One of the Ukrainian soldiers still in Azovstal, Serhiy Volina, Posted on Facebook Late Saturday local time: “It looks like I’m on a hellish reality show where we’re militarily fighting for life, taking every opportunity to save and the whole world is just watching a fun story!” He said.
“This is real life! Pain, suffering, hunger, torment, tears, fear, death – they are all real!” he wrote.
Volina said that he had hoped for a miracle from the “higher powers” and that “this hellish reality show will end.”
“Time passes, time is our life!” He is done.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”