ICRC says ready to lead evacuations from Mariupol, deliver aid

A service member of pro-Russian troops stands on the ruins of a destroyed apartment building in Mariupol
A service member of pro-Russian troops stands on the ruins of an apartment building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

March 31, 2022

GENEVA (Reuters) – Teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross are on their way to the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol with aid supplies and stand ready to evacuate civilians, it said on Thursday.

Ewan Watson, ICRC spokesperson, said Ukraine and Russia must agree on the exact terms of the operation, which is planned for Friday, adding that “tens of thousands” of lives depend on its success.

“For logistics and security reasons, we’ll be ready to lead the safe passage operation tomorrow, Friday, provided all the parties agree to the exact terms, including the route, the start time, and the duration,” Watson told Reuters in Geneva.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Gareth Jones)