Russia-Ukraine Live News: Kiev Plans More Evacuations from Mariupol | News

Ukraine’s president says he expects more evacuations from Mariupol as fighters in Azovstal report further Russian attacks.

  • Ukrainian commander said raids on Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks had resumed after evacuations.
  • The Mariupol city council said a wide-ranging, UN-backed evacuation of civilians other than those sheltering at a steel mill will begin on Monday.
  • About 100 Ukrainian civilians are heading to a temporary camp in Russian-controlled territory after being evacuated from a dilapidated steelworks in Mariupol.
  • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi becomes the highest US official to visit Kiev and meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
  • Russia has carried out missile strikes in southern and eastern Ukraine, including one that destroyed the runway at Odesa airport.

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Here are the latest updates:

Azovstal standoff ‘saved lives’: Azov fighter

The standoff at the Azovstal steelworks saved many lives, said the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment.

“Because if we hadn’t done that, the front line would be much bigger. The front line would be in another area,” Sviastoslav Palamar told the Associated Press.

Palamar also said that while he expected everyone to be evacuated from the plant, it was difficult to reach some of the wounded.

“There is rubble. We don’t have special equipment. It is difficult for soldiers to pick up slabs weighing tons with their arms alone,” he said.

A woman helped during the UN-led evacuations of the steel mill Azovstal.
A woman helps during the UN-led evacuations of the Azovstal steelworks, after nearly two months of siege warfare on the city by Russia during its invasion, in Mariupol, May 1, 2022 [David Arakhamia/Azov Regiment/Handout via REUTERS]

Explosion damages bridge in Russia’s Kursk region

An explosive device damaged a railway bridge on Sunday in Russia’s Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, the region’s government said in a Telegram post.

The explosion caused a partial collapse of the bridge near the village of Konopelka on the Sudzha-Sosnovy Bor railway, the Kursk report said.

“It was sabotage, a criminal case was opened,” said the region’s governor, Roman Starovoit, according to the new Russian agency TASS. He said there were no casualties and no effect on the movement of trains.

Zelenskyy hopes ‘all necessary conditions’ will be met for evacuations from Mariupol

Ukraine’s president said his government plans to evacuate more civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol on Monday morning.

“I hope that tomorrow all the necessary conditions will be met to continue the evacuation of people from Mariupol. We plan to start at 8 am,” he said in his evening speech.

“For the first time there were two days of real ceasefire in this territory. More than a hundred civilians have already been evacuated – women and children first,” he said of those who left the Azovstal steelworks over the weekend.

“Given all the complexities of the process, the first evacuees will arrive in Zaporizhzhia tomorrow morning. I hope this doesn’t fail. Our team will meet them there,” added Zelenskyy.

Civilians evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks accompanied by Red Cross officials walk in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Bezimenne, about 20 kilometers east of Mariupol.
Civilians evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks accompanied by Red Cross officials walk in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Bezimenne, about 20 kilometers east of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022 [AP Photo]

Ukrainian commander says Russia has resumed bombing of steel mill Azovstal

Ukrainian National Guard brigade commander Denys Shlega said in a televised interview that shelling resumed at the Azovstal steelworks once rescue teams stopped evacuating civilians.

Shlega said at least one more round of evacuations is needed to get civilians out of the plant.

Dozens of young children remain in bunkers below the industrial facilities, as well as several hundred civilians, about 500 wounded soldiers and several dead bodies, he said.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s ongoing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read the Sunday, May 1st updates here.

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