Kiev: Ukrainian authorities have said that 1,500 civilians have been killed in Mariupol as Russian forces have continued its assault on the besieged port city.
In a social media post late Friday night, the Mariupol City Council said that at least “1,582 civilian residents of Mariupol have been killed by Russian occupying forces over the 12 days of the city’s blockade, and ruthless firing on residential neighbourhoods”, reports the Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that authorities will again try to evacuate stranded people from Mariupol as many earlier attempts have failed due to the Russian bombing and shelling.
In a video address, the Minister said a humanitarian cargo should be delivered to Mariupol, and on the way back people will have the opportunity of being evacuated, the BBC reported.
Earlier on Friday, Iryna Vereschuk, Minister of the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, called the situation in Mariupol a “humanitarian catastrophe”, saying that some “300,000 people are suffering from lack of water, cold and hunger” as humanitarian aid have not reached the city due to blockades.
She also claimed that currently there was only one road from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhya, via Orikhiv and Polohy, as all others have been destroyed or mined.
On Wednesday, Mariupol witnessed one of the worst attacks since Russia started its war on February 24 when a children and maternity hospital was shelled, killing three people and injuring 17 others.