Reports this morning from the besieged Ukrainian City of Mariupol suggest that some civilians are being evacuated from the steel plant where they have been sheltering
The news comes as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed she visited Ukraine’s president to show American support for the country’s defense against Russian aggression.
As many as 100,000 people are believed to still be in blockaded Maripol, including up to 1,000 civilians who were hunkered down with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters beneath a sprawling Soviet-era steel plant that is the only part of the city not occupied by the Russians.
The Russian Defense Ministry said a total of 46 people, a group of 25 and another numbering 21, were evacuated from areas near the Azovstal steel plant, the last defense holdout in Mariupol.
A top official with the Azov Regiment, the Ukrainian unit defending the Azovstal steel works, said Saturday that 20 civilians were evacuated from the steelworks.
In a video posted on the regiment’s Telegram channel, regiment Deputy Commander Sviatoslav Palamar called for the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian fighters as well as civilians. “We don’t know why they are not taken away and their evacuation to the territory controlled by Ukraine is not being discussed,” he said.
The Ukrainian President Zelensky awarded U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the Order of Princess Olga for a “significant personal contribution” to strengthening Ukrainian-American cooperation and “supporting sovereign, independent and democratic Ukraine.”