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Ukraine: More than 170 civilians evacuated

09 May 2022

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Civilians rescued from Azovstal steelworks eat a meal in Zaporizhzhia on 8 May. Credit: OCHA/Saviano Abreu

More than 170 people were evacuated from Azovstal steelworks and other areas around Mariupol in Ukraine yesterday. In a statement, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, said she was “immensely relieved” to confirm the evacuation, and that civilians “who have endured over 10 weeks of intense shelling and fighting are now able to have some respite in Zaporizhzhia, where humanitarian organizations will provide immediate assistance to them.”

This new operation brought the total number of people evacuated from the area to more than 600. Ms. Lubrani thanked teams from the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, with whom she had “worked hand in hand during the last 10 days.” She said that close coordination and agreement with the parties to the conflict “has also been vital to ensure we could carry out this complex operation safely.”

Ms. Lubrani reiterated that “our work, however, is not yet done”, explaining that “the UN is aware that scores of people who wanted to join the evacuation convoys over the last days were unable to do so.” 

She added: “The UN will continue our engagement with both parties to the conflict to make sure that those who want to leave have the guarantees to do so safely and in the direction of their choice, and that we can reach people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in Mariupol and other hard-to-reach areas across Ukraine."