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A satellite image shows an overview of the Azovstal Steel Plant, the last Ukrainian military sentry to double as a civilian shelter in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 29.
A satellite image shows an overview of the Azovstal Steel Plant, the last Ukrainian military sentry to double as a civilian shelter in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 29. (Maxar Technologies/Reuters)

According to a commander of the Azov regiment, one of the Ukrainian soldiers trapped in the factory, some civilians have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol after a ceasefire was imposed.

Captain Svyatoslav Palamar, the deputy commander of the Azov regiment, said the ceasefire, which was supposed to start at 6 a.m. local time, finally started at 11 a.m. local time.

“As of now it’s the truth, both sides are following the ceasefire regime,” he said.

The evacuation convoy was very delayed, he said. “Since 6 am we have been waiting for the arrival of the evacuation convoy, which arrived only at 6:25 pm”

“We have brought 20 civilians to the agreed meeting point, which we managed to rescue from under the rubble. These are women and children. We hope that these people will go to the agreed destination, which is Zaporizhzhya, the area controlled by Ukraine ‘ said Palamar.

“As of now, the rescue operation is underway, carried out by the Azov military – we are rescuing the civilians from under the rubble,” he added.

“These are women, children and the elderly,” he said in a video message on the regiment’s Telegram channel.

“We hope that this process will be further expanded and that we will successfully evacuate all civilians,” he said.

“As for the injured – those people who need urgent medical care – it is unclear to us why they are not being evacuated and their evacuation to the Ukraine-controlled area is not discussed,” he added.
“I emphasize that we ask to guarantee the evacuation, not only for civilians, but also for our wounded soldiers who need medical care.”

TASS, the Russian state news agency, said earlier Saturday that a group of citizens had left the steel factory. An on-site correspondent told TASS that a total of 25 people came out, including six children under the age of 14. CNN cannot independently verify the TASS reporting.

There are said to be hundreds of people in the steel complex, including dozens injured in an intense Russian bombardment in recent weeks. The latest satellite images of the factory show that many of the buildings have been reduced to ruins.

Defenders of the Azovstal plant said Wednesday night’s attacks hit the makeshift hospital in the complex, greatly increasing the number of injured.

This is what part of the plant looked like about six weeks ago:

A satellite image from March 22 shows an overview of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.
A satellite image from March 22 shows an overview of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.

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