Ukrainian firefighters rescue a cat stranded in a destroyed building in Borodyanka, outside Kyiv.
MORE: Ukraine’s foreign minister says the evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol remains “very fragile” after the first group were able to leave a bombed-out steel plant.
Dmytro Kuleba told reporters in Kyiv Monday that “things can fall apart at any given moment, so it’s better to wait until the evacuation is over.”
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message that more than 100 civilians were able to leave Sunday, and that they were headed to Zaporizhzhia, about 200 kilometers away, although their progress was reported as slow. Kuleba said Monday the evacuation, conducted by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, was still “underway” and declined to give more details until it was complete.
With Russian troops taking control of the rest of Mariupol, hundreds of civilians and an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian troops have been holed up at the Azovstal iron and steel works. Multiple earlier attempts to evacuate civilians from the site fell apart, with Ukraine accusing Russia of shelling evacuation routes.
Video footage posted by Ukrainian forces showed elderly women and mothers with small children climbing over a steep pile of rubble near the mammoth plant and eventually boarding a bus.
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