“You can’t imagine how scary it is when you sit in the bomb shelter, in a damp and wet basement, and it is bouncing and shaking.”
54-year-old Ukrainian Elina Tsybulchenko, after evacuating war-torn Mariupol. She is one of 101 people who were evacuated from a steel plant following a brief ceasefire with Russia.
may 4, 2022
- In the besieged city of Mariupol, people have been sheltering in bunkers beneath a steel plant in order to escape explosions above ground. Over the weekend, 101 people were evacuated from the bunkers. The evacuees were women, children, and elderly people; for the most part, men of fighting age were required to stay.
- The evacuation was part of a brief ceasefire established between Russia and Ukraine, and overseen by the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Associated Press reports that Ukrainian officials have reported they plan to continue civilian evacuation efforts "if the security situation allows it."
- Why It Matters: Following the evacuation, Russian forces launched artillery fire on the area. The governor of the eastern Donetsk region, where Mariupol is located, said Russian attacks left 21 dead on Tuesday. It is the highest number of known fatalities since April 8, when a missile attack at a railway station killed at least 59 people.
- Regarding the attacks on Tuesday, the Russian defense ministry is reported to have said: “A ceasefire was declared, civilians had to be evacuated from Azovstal territory. Azov and Ukrainian servicemen who are stationed at the plant took advantage of it. They came out of the basement, they took up firing positions on the territory and in the factory buildings" (Al Arabiya News). Russian attacks are not limited to just eastern Ukraine, however; cities across the country have also experienced more explosions in recent days.