People fleeing besieged Mariupol described weeks of bombardments and deprivations as they arrived in Ukrainian-held territory.
Relief workers are waiting Monday for the first group of civilians freed from a steel plant that is last redoubt of Ukrainian fighters in the devastated port city.
Video posted online Sunday by Ukrainian forces showed elderly women and mothers with small children climbing over a steep pile of rubble from the sprawling Azovstal steel plant and eventually boarding a bus.
Ukraine's president said more than 100 civilians from the plant were expected to arrive in Zaporizhzhia on Monday. Zaporizhzhia is about 90 miles northwest of Mariupol.
The United Nations confirmed the Red Cross was helping with a “safe passage operation” to evacuate citizens on Saturday.
People who are evacuated will receive humanitarian support, including psychological services, the UN said.
The UN did not say how many civilians it was evacuating from Mariupol.
If successful, the evacuation would represent rare progress in easing the human cost of the almost 10-week war.