Ukraine, one hundred civilian refugees in Azovstal steelworks rescued by UN and Red Cross. How many are left. What do we know. The fate of the Ukrainians deported by the Russians

A first hundred civilians were rescued from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, leaving 500 to 800 displaced people from Mariupol still. They believed they escaped the bombing that destroyed the city on the Azov Sea, but never found themselves trapped because the facility became the primary target of Russian troops.

The presence of UN and Red Cross staff as Moscow gave the green light for the opening of the humanitarian corridor reassured displaced people who feared deportation to Russia, as happened to other Ukrainians living in occupied territories , from Putin’s army. It is not known when they may return to Ukraine.

The civilians who left the steelworks were accompanied in the bus a Zaporizhzhia, Mangush (west of Mariupol), and in a village near Berdyansk in southeastern Ukraine.

The story of the displaced

“I can not believe it. Two months of darkness.” Natalia Usmanova smiles and puts her hands on her face. video. “We have not seen the light of the sun anymore, we were scared,” continues the woman, who spoke to journalists in the village of Benzimenne in eastern Ukraine under Russian control. “When we got on the bus (for evacuation) I said to my husband: should we no longer go to the toilet with a flashlight? “, Natalia says excitedly and in disbelief:” And not having to use a bag or a trash can as a bathroom and a torch ». “We went there (to Azovstal) for our free choice, like the workers at the factory, to save ourselves,” explains the woman with her hair tied up, a yellow duvet and two large bags in her hands, while the pictures of the evacuation roll by in the video from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“When we realized that they were getting closer and closer to us and we became more and more scared, we tried to walk. We knew about the humanitarian corridors and the evacuations. But we could not find each other,” the woman continues. “And then the bombing started, I thought my heart would stop and I would not survive. The shelling was so powerful that it began to hit near us, ”he recalls. “At the exit of the shelter, at the top of a staircase, one could not breathe because there was not enough oxygen. I was also afraid to go out and breathe fresh air,” he concludes.

Some evacuated rescuers said they feared the shelter would collapse during the violence of Russian bombing. In the videos released by the Ukrainian authorities, women with small children are seen wrapped in winter clothes forced to go up stairs resting on rubble. With them also cats and dogs.

The displaced will also receive psychological support, said UN spokesman Saviano Abreu. A team of Médecins Sans Frontières is also in action, waiting in Zaporizhzhia and in the village of Bezimenne, about 30 kilometers east of Mariupol, where a series of blue tents had been set up.

And the others still trapped in the steelworks? On Sunday night, Denys Shlega, commander of the 12th Operational Brigade of the Ukrainian National Guard, said there were still numerous civilians, 500 soldiers. And also corpses.

Military said that “the presence of children and civilians makes it harder to fight and there are many people injured in the facility. There is not enough water and you can inhale the stench of rotting bodies. The fighter jets in the facility will continue with to resist until they receive the order not to do so ».

After all, as soon as the about one hundred displaced people left the steelworks, the bombing resumed.

“The shelling is such that even on the other side of the river the houses are shaking,” wrote Petro Andryushenko, aide to Mariupol’s mayor in a post on the Telegram. It is believed that up to 100,000 people are still in the ruins of the city in areas not yet in the hands of the Russians.

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