“An operation aimed at removing civilians from the plant could take place today,” the Ukrainian president said in a statement.
Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians, including children, are at the Azvstal steel plant in Mariupol, surrounded by Russian troops.
The last Ukrainian soldiers, including members of the Azov Battalion, have also been besieged at a factory covering an area of 11 square kilometers.
The operation is being coordinated with the UN and the Red Cross, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky believes the attempt has been “successful”.
“I believe that a successful outcome in the liberation of Azovstal is possible,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a joint news conference with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who was in Kiev after his visit to Moscow.
On Tuesday, the UN announced that Vladimir Putin has agreed with Guterres on the involvement of the UN and the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.