While a handful of people were evacuated on Saturday — estimates by the Ukrainians and Russians ranging from 20 to 46 — the I.C. It was said that no details can be shared until the situation allows, because it could seriously jeopardize the safety of the civilians and convoy. A UN official confirmed that the occupation was underway but said details would only be available when it was clear that people had made it to safety.
It was not clear if the evacuation would include only those trapped in the steel plant, where several hundred civilians have sought refuge with hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers, or if people would be taken from the city itself. Some 450,000 people lived in the port city before the war. There are now estimated to be around 100,000 people living in the ruins of the destroyed metropolis.
Ukrainian officials have said more than 20,000 civilians have been killed and accused Russians of digging mass graves to hide the extent of the slaughter.
The Mariupol City Council confirmed that an evacuation was underway, but wrote on Telegram that people should gather at 4 p.m. near what used to be a shopping mall known as Port City.