“Ukraine has reached an agreement with Russia to establish a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of women, children and the elderly from the besieged city of Mariupol,” said Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.
“Given the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Mariupol, we will focus our efforts here today,” Vereshchuk wrote on Facebook.
Thousands of people have been stranded for several weeks in the port city of Mariupol, which is under siege by Russian forces.
Ukraine hopes to evacuate 6,000 women, children and elderly people from Mariupol on Wednesday if the preliminary agreement with Russia holds, the city’s mayor said earlier.
Mayor Vadym Boichenko, who has left Mariupol, said 90 buses were waiting to head to the devastated southern port city. He cautioned that the agreement was still only a preliminary arrangement and that about 100,000 civilians remained there.
Image: REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis