But...: Mariupol Refugees' Devastating Escape from Ukraine

Refugees from Mariupol arrive in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, after waiting days for Russian troops to allow them to leave . The convoy arrived in the dark, with up to 1,000 cars .

Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine: On Saturday, a huge convoy of cars and vans carrying refugees from Mariupol's ruins arrived in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, after waiting days for Russian troops to allow them to leave.During the 80-day war, Mariupol, which is now mostly Russian-controlled, was flattened.For more than two months, Ukraine has been evacuating civilians from Mariupol.Refugees first had to leave Mariupol and then make their way to Berdyansk, some 80 km west along the coast, and other towns, before a 200-kilometer drive northwest to Zaporizhzhia.

We barely made it, there were lots of elderly people around us, and the trip was devastating.But it was worth it, he said, as the convoy arrived in the dark.According to an aide to Mariupols mayor, the convoy numbered between 500 to 1,000 cars, the most recent evacuation from the city since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.After a long battle, Russian authorities did not allow large numbers of cars to leave the port city, according to Yulia Panteleeva, 27.

According to Ukraine and the West, Russia declared an unprovoked conflict.