Stunned little girl ‘escapes hell’ as she leaves Russian-bombed steelworks – world news

This girl is among a group of civilians evacuated from the Azovstal plant in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol as part of a major rescue mission

A dazed, war-weary little girl stares out the window of a bus that takes her away from a nightmare.

Far from the underground hell of the besieged Mariupol steelworks where thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been trapped for weeks.

Away from relentless Russian bombardment and in the safety of temporary accommodation in the seaside village of Bezimenne 20 miles away.

She was among dozens of people evacuated on Friday and handed over to representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

His escape comes as Ukraine continues its bid to repel Russian invaders in the eastern region of Donetsk, where shattered Mariupol is besieged.

A father says goodbye to his daughter in Lviv yesterday as his wife and children leave Ukraine


Getty Images)

Around 2,000 troops and 200 civilians, including children, are still entrenched deep in the Azovstal steelworks, preventing Russia from capturing the city and establishing a vital land corridor between the east and Crimea.

Their mere presence rains down on Vladimir Putin’s “victory parade”.

Ukrainian officials said Moscow was planning one in the scorched city to coincide with tomorrow’s annual Victory Day parade in Moscow, marking the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Hitler in 1945.

And Ukraine expects the Russians to celebrate with increased attacks. Reports indicate that surviving Mariupol civilians are being forced to clean up the bodies of dead neighbors before the “military spectacle” to obtain food, water and medicine.

Ukraine’s First Deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin said Russia was “preparing to dance on bones in Mariupol” to support the Kremlin state media lie that “a peaceful life is to settle down”.

The reported evacuation of the steelworks



The ruins of the city’s bombed-out theater, where 600 people died, were also cleared in preparation for the parade.

Officials also believe that Russia plans to dress 2,000 civilians in Ukrainian army uniform to parade “prisoners of war” on television.

Adviser to Mariupol mayor Petro Andryushchenko said: “These men are being told that they will be dressed in Ukrainian uniforms and they will take part in the so-called prisoner parade in Mariupol because there is no not enough real prisoners.

Meanwhile, Russia yesterday faced new war crimes allegations amid reports of 500 civilians being held in torture chambers in Kherson in the occupied south.

It came as defense forces said they had taken over five villages around Kharkiv in the northeast, raising hopes of pushing back Russia.

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A US think tank said the Ukrainian military may be able to push Russian forces “out of Kharkiv’s artillery range, providing an opportunity to build a successful counter-offensive.”

And now Britain is keeping the flow of arms that Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky needs to keep the momentum going.

Boris Johnson said: “The UK was the first country to send arms to help Ukrainians defend themselves. We will stick to this effort.

The steelworks came under intense Russian attack


Ministry of Interior of Donetsk)

And Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who accepted the package, added: “We are steadfast in our support – and this extra £1.3billion will allow us to continue to provide the military and operational support they need to defend against Putin.

Mr Johnson and other G7 leaders met with President Zelensky via video link yesterday to discuss Ukraine’s long-term arms needs.

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