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Ukrainian Mariupol refugees ‘Destroy’ Flee -By ASC

The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has entered its 80th day.

Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine:

A large convoy of cars and vans carrying refugees from the ruins of Mariupol arrived in the Ukrainian -controlled city of Zaporizhzhia on Saturday after waiting several days for Russian troops to let them go.

Mariupol, now mostly Russian -controlled, was leveled during the 80 -day war. Ukraine has gradually evacuated civilians from the devastated city for more than two months.

The refugees first had to get out of Mariupol and then somehow go to Berdyansk – about 80 km west along the coast – and other settlements before driving as far as 200 km northwest to Zaporizhzhia.

Nikolai Pavlov, a 74 -year -old retiree, said he had lived in the basement for a month after his apartment was destroyed. A relative who used a “secret diversion” managed to take him out of Mariupol to Berdyansk.

“We were almost unsuccessful, there were a lot of old people among us … the trip was very devastating. But it was worth it,” he said after the convoy arrived in the dark.

An aide to the mayor of Mariupol previously said the convoy numbered between 500 and 1,000 cars, representing the largest single evacuation from the city since the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

Iryna Petrenko, 63, said she lived initially to care for her 92 -year -old mother, who later died.

“We buried him next to his house, because there was no place to bury anyone,” he said. For a while the Russian authorities did not allow large numbers of cars to go, he said.

Only the extensive Azovstal steel work in the port city is still in the hands of Ukrainian fighters after a prolonged battle.

“My parents’ house was hit by an air attack, all the windows were blown out,” said Yulia Panteleeva, 27, who was not present with other family members.

“I can’t stop imagining things that might happen to us if we stayed home,” he said.

Moscow called its action a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of what it described as anti-Russian nationalism. Ukraine and the West say Russia waged war without provocation.

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