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The Ukrainian city of Mariupol is ‘90 percent destroyed’ after being attacked by Russian forces, its mayor Vadym Boichenko has said.
The port city has been under near constant bombardment since the Russian invasion, with buildings reduced to rubble including a hospital and theatre.
Today Boichenko said: “The sad news is that 90 percent of the infrastructure in the city is destroyed and 40 percent is unrecoverable.”
He also said that around 130,000 people still remain trapped in the city.
Boichenko has previously said 5,000 people have been killed in the city, but an official death toll is yet to be released.
One man who managed to flee Mariupol spoke to the BBC about the horrors he had witnessed.
He said: "It was constant bombing.
"Planes went past every 10 minutes and dropped bombs on Mariupol. People were falling and dying in front of my eyes. We buried people in gardens."
Prior to escaping, he and his family had sheltered with hundreds of other Ukrainians inside a cinema near to the city’s centre where they survived on what little food was donated from neighbours or Ukrainian soldiers.
When supplies began to run low, those without children were asked to leave so there was more to go around to feed the youngsters.
A woman staying at the shelter told the BBC: "We had a car that was damaged, but still working, so we decided to leave the shelter.
“There was no way out: you could stay and die, or you could go and die. You couldn't even count minutes between the bombs."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the shelling of Mariupol will only stop when Ukrainian troops surrender.
The comments were reported to have been made during a call to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Following the call, the Kremlin said in a statement, Putin told Macron that ‘in order to resolve the difficult humanitarian situation in this city, Ukrainian nationalist militants must stop resisting and lay down their arms’.
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