LUGANSK, June 15. /TASS/. The number of civilians, held by Ukrainian groups at the Azot plant in Severodonetsk, may reach 1,200 people, an aide to the Lugansk People’s Republic’s interior minister has told TASS.
"At present, between 1,000 and 1,200 civilians are held as hostages on the territory of Azot. They have been held there against their will, for quite a while. There is no water, no food, no medicines. About 127 of them are children," Vitaly Kiselev said.
In his words, the plant’s territory has underground bunkers and technical corridors, where civilians may be held.
Ukraine asked Russia on Tuesday to open a humanitarian corridor for the passage of civilians from the Azot plant to Lisichansk, a city it still controls. According to the aide to the Lugansk People’s Republic’s interior minister, the Ukrainian forces plan to leave Azot using civilians as a cover. In his estimates, about 2,500 people may be holed up in the Severodonetsk industrial zone, up to one quarter of them are foreign mercenaries.
The chief of Russia’s joint coordination center for humanitarian response in Ukraine, Mikhail Mizintsev said on Tuesday the Russian army and the Lugansk People’s Republic’s militia on Wednesday will open a humanitarian corridor towards Svatovo, in the LPR, for the evacuation of civilians from the Azot plant. The corridor will be open starting from 08:00 on June 15.
The Russian army and the LPR militia guarantee the safe evacuation of all civilians. Humanitarian convoys will take civilians to temporary accommodation centers.