Red Cross says cannot reach Mariupol due to security conditions

Deputy Prime Minister accused Russian forces of blocking the Red Cross's evacuation efforts.

 A man fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine walks out the Red Cross tent, outside the train station in Lviv, Ukraine March 21, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMRA)
A man fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine walks out the Red Cross tent, outside the train station in Lviv, Ukraine March 21, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMRA)

A team of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not been able to reach the besieged city of Mariupol on Monday to evacuate civilians, a spokesperson said, citing security conditions.

"Due to security conditions, our team has not been able to reach Mariupol today," spokesperson Jason Straziuso said in emailed comments to Reuters.

The attempt was the fourth in as many days to reach the city, which has been under siege since Russia's invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24. 

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk accused Russian forces of blocking the Red Cross's evacuation efforts in televised remarks on Monday. 

Straziuso declined to comment on the allegation.

 A view shows buildings damaged in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 3, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER) A view shows buildings damaged in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)

"We are still trying (to get to Mariupol)," he added. The organization withdrew its team, which included staff members with young children, from Mariupol in mid-March after they ran out of aid."