First Civilians Leave Mariupol Steel Plant; Hundreds Remain

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) – People fleeing besieged Mariupol described weeks of bombardments and deprivation as they arrived in Ukrainian-held territory. Relief workers are waiting Monday for the first group of civilians freed from a steel plant that is last redoubt of Ukrainian fighters in the devastated port city. Video posted online Sunday by Ukrainian forces showed elderly women and mothers with small children climbing over a steep pile of rubble from the sprawling Azovstal steel plant and eventually boarding a bus. Ukraine’s president said more than 100 civilians from the plant were expected to arrive in Zaporizhzhia on Monday. If successful, the evacuation would represent rare progress in easing the human cost of the almost 10-week war.

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