Donetsk, Apr 14 - DAN. The first group of foreign sailors evacuated from the Mariupol port has left for their countries via Russia, with the assistance from DPR diplomats , Donetsk People’s Republic Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said on Thursday.

“The evacuees have been accommodated in Donetsk and provided with meals. There are foreign nationals among them,” Nikonorova said on First Channel. “The Foreign Ministry is drawing documents because some sailors lack passports as they left them on the ship. These documents have to be prepared in order to enable their return to their home country.“

“We’re working with each person, gathering the available documents. The first group left via Russia yesterday,” she said.

Reports on Wednesday said that 14 Bulgarian nationals and one Ukrainian had been evacuated to the Republic from the Mariupol port.

Civilian vessels have been anchored in the Mariupol port since the beginning of fighting in the city. They could not sail out because Ukraine had mined the shipway. On April 10, DPR People’s Militia deputy commander Eduard Basurin said that Ukrainian nationalists had seized the Tsarevna and the Lady Augusta foreign vessels in the port and that their crews had been taken hostage. On April 11, the DPR took the port under control which made the evacuation of the sailors possible.

Earlier reports said that Russian and DPR forces had unblocked 47 members of crews from Russia, Azerbaijan, Egypt and Ukraine. *jk