Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that "all women, children and elderly people" have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant.

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"The order of the president has been done," she said. "This part of the Mariupol humanitarian operation has been completed."

In brief comments to CNN from inside the Azovstal plant on Saturday evening local time, one of the Ukrainian defenders at the complex said that an evacuation of civilians had been conducted without incident.

The comments were made by Mykhailo Vershynin, the chief of the Mariupol Patrol Police. He gave no details about the number that had been able to leave.

Mariupol: defenders sing at Azovstal