Ukrainian authorities reported limited success in securing the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians from the worst affected areas Friday.
Around Kyiv, volunteers and local authorities were able to help thousands more escape the worst affected districts to the north and west of the city.
Despite heavy outgoing and incoming fire, more than 22,000 people had been evacuated after three days from the districts of Vorzel, Hostomel, Bucha and Irpin, all of which have seen extensive destruction and are without power and water, said Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv regional administration.
On Saturday, the administration would “be creating new routes to get to the towns which we could not reach yet to evacuate people,” Kuleba added.
Chief among them is the town of Borodianka – some 25 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of Kyiv. It was again shelled on Friday as Russian forces continue their attempt to close in on the capital from the north.
Meanwhile, an attempt to evacuate more people from the town of Izium had been “disrupted by the Russian occupiers,” said Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Synehubov in a Telegram post.
“We prepared 20 buses and humanitarian aid,” he said, adding that a “green corridor” was agreed on and organized, but due to the shelling by the occupiers, it was never launched.
The buses were shelled and barely managed to turn round and get back safely. The evidence of shelling could be seen on the buses, he continued.
In the center of Ukraine, authorities reported the successful evacuation of more women and children from Enerhodar – which fell to Russian forces a week ago – and surrounding villages.
Most of the displaced in this region are being brought to Zaporizhzia before boarding trains to western Ukraine.
Mariupol efforts: The head of Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, Oleksandr Starukh, said local priests had joined efforts to get a convoy of aid to the besieged port city of Mariupol.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov described the situation in Mariupol as very difficult. He accused the Russians of bombing the city even during official negotiations.
Local authorities in Mariupol say that nearly 1,600 people in Mariupol have died as a result of shelling and airstrikes against the city.