DENYS KARLOVSKYI – SUNDAY, 1 MAY 2022, 17:45 President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has confirmed that the evacuation of civilians from the bunkers of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol has begun, with the assistance of the United Nations. Source: Zelenskyy on Twitter Zelenskyy’s quote: “The evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant has begun. The first group of about 100 people is already heading to the controlled territory. Tomorrow we will meet them in Zaporizhzhia. I’m thankful to our team They, together with UN representatives, are currently working on the evacuation of other civilians from the plant.” Details: Davyd Arakhamiia, chairman of the Ukrainian negotiating team, confirmed that the talks – with the assistance of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the President’s Office – had ended successfully with an agreement on rescuing the civilians in the Azovstal bunkers. Children, women and elderly people were in the first group of civilians to be evacuated. This has been the first ceasefire in Mariupol since the start of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. Background: At noon on 1 May, international refugees began to report that evacuation buses with 50 civilians had left Mariupol and taken the civilians to territory controlled by militants of the self-proclaimed DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic]. On 1 May, Mariupol City Council announced that the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia was now possible. On 30 April, commanders of the Azov Regiment, which is taking part in the operation to defend Mariupol from the Russian occupiers, said they had taken about two dozen civilians from the Azovstal plant’s bunkers to Ukrainian-controlled territory. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres went to Kyiv for official talks with President Zelenskyy, and before that he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. He suggested that the UN mission run the operation to evacuate from Mariupol. UN Resident Coordinator for Ukraine Osnat Lubrani left for Zaporizhzhia on 28 April to prepare for the evacuation from Mariupol. The President’s Office insisted that the Kremlin refused to cease fire and allow the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal to territory by the Ukrainian government.