Mariupol mayor Vadym Boichenko has said that an evacuation convoy has begun moving from the coastal town of Berdiansk, some 50 miles (85 kilometers) west of the besieged city, towards territory held by Ukraine.

"We expect that it will work, that our residents, those who hid for more than two months on Azovstal, will get to the territory controlled by Ukraine." Boichenko said on Ukrainian television.

Civilians remain at Azovstal. Unfortunately, destruction are being added there. Both enemy artillery and aircraft hit these facilities yesterday,
Boichenko added.

Boichenko said it remained very difficult for thousands of people in Mariupol to leave Russian controlled territory. He said 2,000 residents remain stranded in the Berdiansk area.