War in Ukraine: First civilians evacuated from besieged Mariupol steelworks

ten days ago ordered the Kremlin tyrant Vladimir Putin (69) his troops Azov Steel Plant in Mariupol circle so that “not even a fly comes out”. He then had the factory premises dismantled with his artillery.

There is now a small spark of hope: on Saturday, civilians were evacuated from the steelworks for the first time!

This was reported by both Russian news agencies and the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Nationalist Azov Regiment, Svyatoslav Palamar.

Different known numbers

There is only different information about the numbers: according to Russian information, 25 civilians were evacuated, it is said there. Among them, six children.

The Azov regiment, in turn, spoke of 20 women, children and elderly men who had left the scene.

The evacuation was made possible by an agreed ceasefire, the deputy commander of Azov Palamar said in a video message. Actually it should have started at 6am, but the real start was at 11am.

Man from Azov: “From now on, both sides will respect the ceasefire agreement.”


Svyatoslav Palamar at the start of the Russian war in UkraineFoto: Regionalministerium der Ukraine

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Svyatoslav Palamar at the start of the Russian war in UkrainePhoto: Ministry of Regional Affairs of Ukraine

According to him, the civilians will be taken to the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia, where other refugees from Mariupol have already arrived.

It was initially uncertain if they would actually make it. Because: Mariupol is completely under Russian control. During the last weeks of the war, Russia had already forcibly resettled civilians on its own territory.

Ukrainian mediator Lyudmila Denisova spoke in Brussels about the 400,000 people Putin had brought to her own country.

Palamar said of those evacuated from the steel plant: “We hope that these people will reach the agreed destination.”


New satellite photos from Maxar Technologies show that almost all the buildings of the Azov steel complex have now been destroyed.  Roofs have collapsed, some buildings are barelyFoto: -/AFP

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New satellite photos from Maxar Technologies show that almost all the buildings of the Azov steel complex have now been destroyed. Roofs have collapsed, some buildings are just piles of rubblePhoto: -/AFP

Additionally, the Azov Regiment hopes there will be more evacuations in the future so that all civilians at the steelworks can get to safety.

the attacks continued

A team of AFP journalists taking part in a press tour in Mariupol organized by the Russian army on Friday heard violent attacks against the Azov steel compound from morning until afternoon. In the afternoon, the detonations occurred every second.

According to Ukraine, 1,000 civilians in hiding

According to Ukrainian reports, a total of around 1,000 civilians took refuge in the steelworks bunkers – and are now trapped.

Russia, for its part, speaks of about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who are also entrenched there. So far they have refused to surrender.



Kyiv and Moscow recently agreed, with the mediation of UN Secretary General António Guterres (73), to set up a humanitarian corridor allowing civilians to flee. So far, however, there have been no major evacuation successes.

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