A convoy of 21 vehicles evacuating 82 Greeks from Mariupol reached the city of Dnipro on Thursday and is now heading towards the city of Kirovohrad and the Moldavian border.
The operation to evacuate Greek citizens and staff of the Mariupol consulate (Nostos 3) left the besieged city on Wednesday but found itself under fire. It is still unclear where the attack originated from, and whether it was stray fire or deliberate. According to information available to Kathimerini from members of the convoy, the gunfire did result in at least one punctured tire. Overall, the 240 kilometers travelled by the convoy in difficult circumstances have reportedly left the group shaken.
The head of the mission, Ambassador Fragiskos Kostellenos, is expected to return to Mariupol after the convoy reaches the border according to Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. The Consul General Manolis Androulakis has remained in the city.
The wider area of Mariupol is home to about 120,000 members of the ethnic Greek community, dating back to the 18th century. At least 10 have been confirmed dead as a result of Russian bombing and airstrikes.