Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the evacuation of civilians trapped in a steel plant in the southeastern port city of Mariupol has begun reports International media
Zelenskyy said on Sunday that the first group of about 100 people have already left the Azovstal plant, and is expected to meet Ukrainian officials in Zaporizhzhia in the southeast on Monday.
Several hundred civilians are believed to have sought refuge in the plant.
A spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA said that evacuations began on Saturday and were still underway.
The official declined to disclose details, citing the need to continue evacuations and ensure the safety of civilians.
The official said the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross are maintaining contact with both Ukrainian and Russian authorities involved in the operation.
Russia's Defence Ministry said on Sunday that 80 civilians, including women and children, who had been detained by what it called Ukrainian nationalists had been freed from the steel complex at the initiative of President Vladimir Putin.
After UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Putin in Moscow last Tuesday, the UN said they agreed on the involvement of the UN and the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol.
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