Kyiv announced the opening of a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol and said it would try to evacuate civilians by noon today (Saturday, local time).
According to Deutsche Welle, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Varschuk said in a Facebook post that if everything goes according to plan, the exit from the besieged city of Mariupol will begin at noon. He added:
Today, we will try again to evacuate women, children and the elderly.
Mariupol city officials had previously announced on their Telegram channel that the evacuation would take place from Port City Mall to Zaporizhia. Previous attempts to evacuate the city have not been successful, with Ukrainian and Russian officials blaming each other.
Yesterday (Friday) the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it was ready to establish a human fire at the Azofestal steel plant in Mariupol. Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement:
We declare once again that Russia is ready at any moment to establish calm and declare a humanitarian ceasefire to evacuate the civilians.
The Russian Defense Ministry also explained:
After leaving the complex, civilians can voluntarily move to areas controlled by Ukraine or Russia, and will save their lives if Ukrainian soldiers surrender.