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Ukrainian military is firing at civilians in protected zones of Mariupol — DPR

A lot of injured people have been evacuated from the city, deputy chief of the DPR People’s Militia Eduard Basurin informed

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Scores of injured people are being evacuated from Mariupol, as the Ukrainian Armed Forces are firing at civilians in protected zones of the city as they attempt to exit through humanitarian corridors, Eduard Basurin, deputy chief of the DPR People’s Militia, said on Monday.

"A lot of injured people have been evacuated from Mariupol, as the city is being purged; in the part we have already liberated, civilians are being fired at as they attempt to escape from this hell, resulting in many of them being wounded," Basurin said.

Earlier, a group of Russian journalists, including a TASS correspondent and a Chinese reporter, had encountered artillery shelling in Mariupol, although no one was hurt. "We were walking down the street when we heard an explosion behind our backs. Our co-workers saw explosions ahead of us and to the right. There were about six to eight blasts. The closest shell hit the ground about 50 meters from us. The street was covered in dust. We fell to the ground and then crawled to the basement of the nearest apartment building. We waited until the shelling was over and continued to work," the TASS correspondent said.

The forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) encircled Mariupol on March 1 and are fighting to liberate the city. Despite agreements between Moscow and Kiev on humanitarian corridors, Ukrainian nationalists have refused to let people leave the city, and have threatened them with weapons. Nevertheless, several thousand people have managed to flee Mariupol. As DPR forces advance into the city, people can evacuate from the liberated districts. The city is currently facing a humanitarian crisis; local residents now lack access to water, electricity, gas and food supplies.