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Zelenskyy: 1,000 civilians are trapped in steel mill in Ukraine's Mariupol amid fighting

Posted at 4:01 PM, Apr 20, 2022

(KYIV, Ukraine) — About 1,000 civilians have been trapped at a steel mill in Mariupol along with Ukrainian soldiers, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday.

“Behind the backs of our guys in Mariupol there are around a thousand civilians, including women and children,” he said after talks with European Council President Charles Michel.

A damaged boat of the Ukrainian Coast Guard of the Sea of Azov is seen after a heavy fighting in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Taking Mariupol would deprive Ukraine of a vital port and complete a land bridge between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, seized from Ukraine from 2014. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

Zelenskyy added that Russia has stonewalled Ukraine’s attempts to negotiate a safe exit for them. “We are open to different formats of exchange of our people for Russian people, Russian military that they have left behind," he said.

Ukraine also has tried to get Russia to agree on a humanitarian corridor to evacuate the 120,000 people who Zelenskyy said remain under siege in Mariupol.