United Nations calls for an ‘immediate stop’ to fighting in Mariupol amid urgent need to evacuate ‘hundreds of wounded’ civilians

  • The United Nations called for an immediate halt to fighting in Mariupol to evacuate civilians.

  • Over 100,000 civilians are trapped in Mariupol, where attempts at humanitarian corridors have failed.

  • Russian forces have made gains in the city, but Ukrainian leaders claim they maintain control of Mariupol.

The United Nations called for an immediate ceasefire in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol so that trapped civilians could be evacuated.

Amin Awad, the UN’s crisis coordinator for the war in Ukraine, invoked the Orthodox Easter holiday on Sunday in a plea to “focus on our common humanity.”

“The lives of tens of thousands including women, children and older people, are at stake in Mariupol,” Awad said in a press release. “We need a pause in fighting right now to save lives. The longer we wait the more lives will be at risk. They must be allowed to safely evacuate now, today. Tomorrow could be too late.”

Over 100,000 civilians are trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol, located in southern Ukraine on the Sea of Azov. Several attempts at humanitarian corridors to allow safe passage for civilians have failed.

Russian forces have gained footholds in the city, but Ukrainian leaders claim they maintain control of the city. On Saturday, Russian forces in Mariupol tried to storm the Azovstal steel plant, where an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian troops and 1,000 civilians are sheltering.

Igor Zhovkva, deputy head of the Office of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made repeated calls for a humanitarian corridor on Sunday.

“The city is almost wiped out. People are living without elementary conditions, without food, without water supply, without electricity,” Zhovkva said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement on Sunday that it has been working “day in and day out to reach civilians in need, in Mariupol and other cities where civilians are trapped.”

“The ICRC is deeply alarmed by the situation in Mariupol, where the population is in dire need of assistance,” the statement said. “Immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access is urgently required to allow for the voluntary safe passage of thousands of civilians and hundreds of wounded out of the city, including from the Azovstal plant area.”

The committee added: “Each day, each hour that passes has a terrible human cost.”

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