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FRIDAY, September 30, 2022
UN doing all it can to make evacuation from Ukrainian steel plant possible

UN doing all it can to make evacuation from Ukrainian steel plant possible

FRIDAY, April 29, 2022

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said after talks in Kyiv on Thursday (April 28) that his organisation was doing all it could to enable the evacuation of a steel plant where fighters and civilians are holed up in the city of Mariupol.

"At the present moment I can only tell you we are doing everything we can to make it happen. I’m not going to enter into any comment that could undermine that possibility," he said after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The meeting with Zelenskiy followed talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (April 26) where the latter agreed "in principle" to U.N. and International Committee for the Red Cross involvement in evacuating the Azovstal plan.

Guterres called the situation in Mariupol "a crisis within a crisis", adding that civilians "need an escape route out of the apocalypse."

Referring to the possibility of a United Nations and ICRC-coordinated humanitarian corridor for the hundreds of civilians believed to still be in Azovstal, Guterres said: "As we speak, there are intense discussions to move forward on this proposal to make it a reality."

On April 21, nearly two months into the siege of the strategic port city, Russia declared victory in Mariupol although remaining Ukrainian forces were holding out in a vast underground complex below Azovstal, where civilians were also sheltering.