After days of failed evacuation attempts, the residents of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol are finally witnessing a ray of hope with the securement of “at least one evacuation route,” according to Mariupol’s city council. 

A statement by the city council on its official Telegram account revealed that “there is hope for the evacuation of Mariupol residents to territory controlled by Ukraine.”

While the council hasn’t received corroboration yet, the post states that the evacuation procedure will commence from a shopping mall named Port City on Saturday. 

“The occupiers allowed movement between the Left Bank district and other districts of the city on the right bank. The movement is open across the bridge to Mukhino,” Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of the city, said on Telegram.

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At present, it is also not certain if the evacuation is targeted towards the people holing up inside the besieged Azovstal steel plant complex. 

According to the mayor, the United Nations and Red Cross are attempting to secure evacuation routes for dozens of civilians seeking refuge in the steel plant. 

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In a televised address earlier on Saturday,  Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boichenko appealed to “all international partners to unite for one goal — to save the lives of the locals, to save the fortress and those locals who are now hiding in the Azovstal bomb shelters.”

“The UN mission and Red Cross are negotiating. We are waiting for the results of these talks. We are waiting [to see] that we will get this corridor and save the lives of hundreds of our Mariupol residents,” he added. 

The city of Mariupol is currently home to some 100,000 Ukrainians. The figure is a quarter of its populace before the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022.