Denys Karlovskyi – Thursday, 5 May 2022, 23:00
Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, announced that the third phase of the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol has begun.
Source: Antonio Guterres, comment during the UN Security Council
Quote from Guterres: "The third phase of an operation to rescue Mariupol civilians is currently underway. But our policy is not to disclose its details until the operation is over so as not to disrupt it.
So far, nearly 500 civilians have been rescued [during the previous two phases of evacuation] and transported to safe places after having survived under relentless artillery shelling and having endured a lack of food, drinking water, and medicine."
Details: Guterres said that representatives of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross are conducting a complicated operation and are coordinating their actions with both the Ukrainian government and Russian occupation forces.
The Secretary-General expressed his hope that in the future a ceasefire will be reached so as to enable civilians in other hotspots to be rescued.
- Earlier on 5 May, Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations, announced that a new convoy of buses had set out for the Azovstal plant in Mariupol; he said the buses will take the remaining 200 civilians from the war zone.
- On 1 May, the Ukrainian government, aided by the UN and the ICRC, was able to evacuate some of the civilians who were hiding from the Russian occupiers in Azovstal bunkers in Mariupol. The evacuation convoy arrived to Zaporizhzhia on 3 May. In order to enable this operation, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres conducted several meetings with world leaders and has personally visited Moscow and Kyiv to arrange the operation’s details.
- On 4 May, 344 civilians were evacuated to Zaporizhzhia via the "Mariupol corridor." This was the second phase of the evacuation operation facilitated by the UN and the ICRC.
- As of the night of 5 May, Russian troops continued to storm the Azovstal plant, which was still controlled by Ukrainian soldiers. Russian troops were conducting devastating artillery shelling and carrying out air strikes.
- Soldiers from the Azov Regiment asked President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to evacuate the wounded soldiers who are dying in great pain due to the lack of medical aid. On the evening of 4 May President Zelenskyy said in his daily video address that he was working on rescuing the people of Mariupol every day.