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Ukraine war: Civilians being evacuated from Mariupol steel plant, UN says

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
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Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol
Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol   -   Copyright  AP Photo

An effort to evacuate people from a steel plant in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol was under way on Sunday to bring people out of the steel plant where the city's last defenders have been holding out, the UN confirmed to Euronews.

An estimated 100,000 civilians remain in the port city which has faced constant shelling since early on in the war.

Russia's offensive in the east of the country has continued as Ukrainian forces fight village by village to stall their advance.

Read more about the key events below:

05.01.2022
19:37

Here's what happened on Sunday:

  • A safe passage operation was ongoing at the steel plant in Mariupol, the UN confirmed to Euronews. The plant is the last Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged southern Ukrainian port city.
     
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said that a group of about 100 people were being evacuated from the Azovstal plant. Russia's defence ministry put the number at 80 civilians.
     
  • Residents in Kharkiv were urged to stay sheltered due to "intense shelling", the regional governor said on Telegram.
     
  • Poland’s armed forces said that military exercises involving thousands of NATO soldiers have begun.
     
  • After seizing the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson in early March, "Russia has sought to legitimise its control of the city" by installing a pro-Russian administration, the UK Ministry of Defence said.
     
  • US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi met with Ukraine’s president on Saturday. She was the highest-ranking US official to travel to the country since the beginning of the war.
     
05.01.2022
19:37

We're ending our live coverage for the moment and will be back in the morning with the latest updates on the war in Ukraine.

05.01.2022
19:07

Moscow confirms evacuation of civilians from Mariupol steel plant

Some 80 civilians were evacuated from the Mariupol steel plant with some "handed over" to the UN, Russia's defence ministry said.

"Eighty civilians, including women and children...have been rescued," the Russian ministry said in a statement, adding that "those who wanted to leave for areas controlled by the Kyiv regime were handed over to representatives of the United Nations".

(AFP)

05.01.2022
18:14

German leader calls pacifism 'outdated'

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged to continue to support Ukraine with money, aid and also weapons, saying a pacifist approach to the war is “outdated.”

Speaking at a May Day rally in Dusseldorf, Scholz said: “I respect all pacifism, I respect all attitudes, but it must seem cynical to a citizen of Ukraine to be told to defend himself against Putin’s aggression without weapons.”

The German leader also warned that the war would have consequences for food supply, potentially leading “to a worldwide hunger crisis.”

Soaring food prices and disruption to supplies coming from Russia and Ukraine have threatened food shortages in countries in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia.

(AP)

05.01.2022
17:23

UN confirms safe passage operation in Mariupol ongoing

A safe passage operation is ongoing at the steel plant in Mariupol, the UN confirmed to Euronews.

"The convoy to evacuate civilians started on 29 April, travelled some 230 kilometres and reached the plant in Mariupol on Saturday morning, local time," said UN spokesman Jens Laerke.

He said that no further details could be shared "as it could jeopardise the safety of the civilians and the convoy.

05.01.2022
16:48

Zelenskyy confirms 100 civilians being evacuated from steel plant in Mariupol

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that a group of about 100 people were being evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks plant in Mariupol where the last Ukrainian troops have been holding out in the besieged port city.

"Tomorrow we'll meet them in Zaporizhzhia," said Zelenskyy in a tweet.

05.01.2022
15:46

Evacuations under way in Mariupol

An effort to evacuate people from a steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol was under way on Sunday, the United Nations said.

UN humanitarian spokesman Saviano Abreu told The Associated Press that the operation to bring people out of the sprawling Azovstal steel plant was being done with the International Committee for the Red Cross and in coordination with Ukrainian and Russian officials.

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.

(AP)

05.01.2022
15:41

Residents in Kharkiv once again urged to stay sheltered due to shelling

Residents in Kharkiv are being urged to stay sheltered due to "intense shelling", the regional governor said on Telegram.

Oleh Synegubov urged residents particularly in areas of northeastern Kharkiv, such as Saltivka, to shelter on Sunday.

He said earlier that rescuers had extinguished 15 fires in the region caused by shelling.

The second-largest city in Ukraine has been subject to heavy Russian shelling.

05.01.2022
14:27

NATO exercises begin along its eastern flank

Poland’s armed forces said that military exercises involving thousands of NATO soldiers have begun.

The exercises are aimed at improving the security of the alliance's eastern flank.

Poland’s military appealed to the public on Sunday not to publish information or photos of the columns of military vehicles expected to move through the country in the coming weeks. It warned that “ill-considered activity” could harm the alliance’s security.

The Polish Army said in a statement that 18,000 soldiers from over 20 countries were taking part in the Defender Europe 2022 and Swift Response 2022 exercises that are taking place in Poland and eight other countries.

The exercises are scheduled to run from 1 May to 27 May.

(AP)

05.01.2022
14:24

Russian gas deliveries to Europe fall 27% in January-April year on year

Deliveries of Russian gas to EU countries and Turkey fell sharply between January and April compared to the same period in 2021, while those to China exploded, Gazprom announced on Sunday.

Exports to the EU and Turkey amounted to 50.1 billion cubic meters, or 26.9% less than in the same period of 2021, Gazprom, Russia's majority state-owned energy company, said.

Gazprom says it will continue to supply gas "in full compliance with contractual obligations".

(AFP)