Ghost town. This is how Petro Androshenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, calls the port city that fell to the Russians last week after a bitter three-month conflict. The man said at least 22,000 civilians have been killed in the ongoing fighting. He told CNN, the US news channel yesterday.
The number cannot be independently verified at this time, but Andrushenko says it is based on contacts he and other city officials had with colleagues who are still detained in Mariupol. He even thinks the actual death toll is much higher. He himself is present in the territory under the control of Ukraine.
According to Androshenko, the city was returned to the Middle Ages. He heard this from his network on the site. “It’s dark at night,” he says. The only lights come from Russian troops and Russian patrols. Everywhere smells of death and the smell of fire.”
The city will be in the grip of a humanitarian catastrophe and there will be little contact with the outside world. It will work on mobile networks.
According to Androshenko, residents will not be able to move freely and corridors are required to move around the city. A special filtration system should prevent people from escaping.
Mariupol has been officially in Russian hands since last Friday, after the last Ukrainian fighters in the city surrendered at the stable Azov plant.
Yesterday, the Ukrainian authorities announced that they had found more than 200 other bodies in the basement of a collapsed apartment building.
The mayor of Mariupol previously spoke of a total of 10,000 civilians killed. According to the United Nations, at least 4,000 civilians have been killed in Mariupol since the Russian invasion. But the organization believes that in reality there is “a lot”.
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