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Mariupol deputy mayor: 9,000 people can leave city if ceasefire holds

Illustrative -- Ukrainian citizens are seen in front of a bus linking the Polish city of Swinoujscie with the Ukrainian city of Mariupol as they cross the border from Ukraine to Poland at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing on February 26, 2022 (JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP)
Illustrative -- Ukrainian citizens are seen in front of a bus linking the Polish city of Swinoujscie with the Ukrainian city of Mariupol as they cross the border from Ukraine to Poland at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing on February 26, 2022 (JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP)

Mariupol’s deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov tells the BBC that while officials believe up to 9,000 people will be able to leave the besieged city under a local ceasefire, it has been hard to update residents because Russian attacks have destroyed the infrastructure.

“The agreement was set up just a few hours ago, it was announced, and we confirmed the ceasefire started at 9 a.m. local time,” Orlov says.

“We immediately started our procedure to try and get people out. We have arranged 50 buses and we think 5 – 6,000 people can get out by bus to Zaporizhzhia,” he says.

“People can also leave by private car we believe. We think in total 7 – 9,000 people can escape by bus and by private car, if the ceasefire holds,” Orlov says. “You have to understand that the city has been without infrastructure for four days, so getting information out to people is difficult.”

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