The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that members of a team tasked with aiding evacuation efforts in Mariupol are being held, after a Ukrainian official said the team was detained after being unable to reach the city for several days.
Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said Monday in a news briefing that the team set out for the southeastern city the day before. The ICRC representatives arrived at Manhush in west Mariupol but were taken into custody. According to him, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Veselchuk wants them released into Ukrainian-controlled territory.
In a statement emailed to The Post, an ICRC spokesperson confirmed a team is being held in Manhush and said it had been stopped Monday “while carrying out humanitarian efforts.”
“The ICRC has been in direct contact with our colleagues and is speaking with the parties on all sides to bring clarity to the situation and allow them to resume their humanitarian work,” the spokesperson said.
It was not immediately clear who is detaining the team members.
The ICRC told The Post via email earlier Monday that due to “security conditions, our team has not been able to reach Mariupol today.”
Vereshchuk had said earlier Monday that people could flee Mariupol in their own vehicles along a humanitarian corridor to nearby Zaporizhzhia; she also said that 15 evacuation buses “have set off from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol to evacuate our people.”
The Mariupol City Council posted a video on Telegram on Monday morning of what it said were 15 buses leaving Zaporizhzhia to get to Berdyansk, about 50 miles west of Mariupol.
Vereshchuk also said civilians would be evacuated from five areas in the contested eastern region of Luhansk, on the border with Russia, and accused Russian forces in the region of attacking humanitarian convoys.
Boychenko said Monday that as many as 130,000 people remained trapped in Mariupol in “inhumane” conditions.