Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has confirmed that an evacuation is underway of civilians at a steel plant in the bombed-out city of Mariupol.
Zelenskyy said on social media on Sunday that a group of 100 people are on their way from Azovstal steelworks to Ukrainian-controlled territory.
He indicated that plans are underway for a Monday rendezvous with the evacuees at the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia that has previously been a staging post for those fleeing Mariupol. Zaporizhzhia is located about 230 kilometers (140 miles) from Mariupol.
As many as 100,000 people are believed to still be in blockaded Mariupol, including up to 1,000 civilians who were hunkered down with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters beneath the Soviet-era steel plant — the only part of the city not occupied by the Russians.