December 2, 2022

Russia and Ukraine are both reporting fighting around Azovstal plant in Mariupol

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A general view shows the registration and processing area for internally displaced persons from the Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine on May 2 in Zaporizhiya, Ukraine.
A general scene shows the registration and processing area for internally displaced persons from Russian-occupied territories in Zaporizhiya, Ukraine, on May 2. (Ed Jones / AFP / Getty Images)

Expectations were high that those evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol would finally arrive at a processing center in Zaporizhzhia, central Ukraine, on Monday after a long and arduous journey.

However, since then, the center, located in the parking lot, has more media members than families who have managed to escape.

The evacuation from Azovstal is expected to take place en masse later today.

For now, neatly lined rows of red and white plastic tapes and wooden crates dictate where vehicles should enter to be registered and processed, while medical staff are on standby in a large white tent. So that food, clothes and toys can be connected while waiting for evacuation.

From the villages south of Zaporizhzhia, near Mariupol and other parts of Ukraine, families have gradually entered the center. Some were tired of trying to reach the Ukrainian territory. Others’ eyes watered at the sight of their loved ones.

Natasha told CNN she was lucky. His family was evacuated from Dniprorudne, a small town north of Melitopol, around 6 a.m. Monday. There is a large convoy of about 50 vehicles but they got stuck in Vasilioka. The Russians did not let them go, “he said.

According to another evacuee, Julia, the Russians said they had no orders to allow people to pass. Julia left on Monday morning and arrived in Zaporizhzhia, although her boyfriend is still on the road. He left on Saturday.

“He will probably return if the Russians do not allow him to pass,” he said. “But for now, the locals have given him a place to live.”

Some background: Stalemate between Russian and Ukrainian forces Azovstal steel plant Mariupol has become a symbol of Ukraine’s unwavering resistance to the enemy Their number is much higher..

on Sunday, More than 100 civilians were evacuated. From the vast industrial complex, which has come under heavy bombardment by Russia. President of Ukraine Voldemir Zelensky On Sunday evening, it was announced that for the first time, work has begun on a major corridor to evacuate civilians from the plant, paving the way for their passage.

People evacuated Sunday from the plant to the debris-covered streets and to the undisclosed neighborhoods in the bombed Mariupol.

Dennis Schlegger, commander of the 12th Brigade of the National Guard, said it was short-lived, however, as Russian shelling intensified again and halted further relief efforts.

Another 100 people are believed to be at the plant, including 20 children, Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Azov Regiment Svyatovslav Palmar told Reuters on Monday.

CNN’s Bernadette Twazon, Lauren Syed-Moore House, Isa Source, Madelina Araujo and Alexandra Ochman contributed to this post.

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