LVIV, UKRAINE - MARCH 19: Ukrainians take part in an action in support of the residents and defenders of Mariupol on March 19, 2022 in Lviv, Ukraine. Lviv has served as a stopover and shelter for the millions of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, either to the safety of nearby countries or the relative security of western Ukraine. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The United Nations is working doggedly to broker an evacuation of civilians suffering in the ruins of Mariupol. The negotiations continued on Friday, as Ukraine accused Russia of showing its contempt for the world organization by bombing Kyiv while the U.N. leader was visiting the capital. The mayor of Mariupol says the situation inside a steel plant that has become the southern port city’s last stronghold is dire and citizens “are begging to get saved.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces fought to hold off Russian attempts to advance in the south and east.