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Wednesday June 29, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war: Russia says dozens left besieged Mariupol plant

By AFP
May 02, 2022

KYIV: Dozens of civilians have left a besieged steel plant in the city of Mariupol, Russia said on Sunday, as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voiced support for Ukraine’s “fight for freedom” during a visit to Kyiv.

Russia’s defence ministry said a total of 46 civilians left in two groups on Saturday from the area around the Azovstal plant — the last holdout of Ukrainian forces in the city.The development raised hopes of a larger, long-awaited evacuation from the battered plant, where local fighters say they and hundreds of civilians are still sheltering.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video Saturday evening that Kyiv was “doing everything to ensure that the evacuation mission from Mariupol is carried out”.Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s mayor, said on Sunday that there would be “radio silence on the evacuation situation”.

Thousands have been killed and millions displaced since Russia began its invasion on February 24.Western powers have rushed to send military aid to Ukraine and imposed heavy sanctions on Russia.

“We are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom... Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi said at a meeting with Zelensky.Pelosi also said in a statement that “additional American support is on the way” following President Joe Biden´s announcement last week of a $33-billion (31-billion-euro) arms and support package.

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