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Mariupol Deputy Mayor Makes Daunting Statement On City's Death Toll

Mariupol Deputy Mayor Makes Daunting Statement On City's Death Toll

Deputy mayor Sergei Orlov has described the extent of the damage caused by the war.

The deputy mayor of Mariupol has released an eye-opening statement on the city's death toll as the conflict in Ukraine approaches its third week.

The southern port city has been targeted by surrounding Russian troops for days, leaving residents without food, water and electricity as well as being at risk of being struck by the shelling.

Today, March 9, Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said children had been buried under rubble as an airstrike hit a hospital in the city, and deputy mayor Sergei Orlov expressed belief there are countless people whose deaths have not yet been recorded.

Speaking to CNN's New Day, per Newsweek, Orlov said: 'We really cannot calculate how many deaths we have – I mean it's three to four times more [than the official count] – so we are not able even to count how many people on streets killed by bombing and artillery.'

Orlov went on to stress the true scale of the destruction caused by the war, as he added: 'This district does not exist anymore. There is no building without damage. From the point of view of our brave army, it could last until up to the last bullet. But the humanitarian situation is awful. At least 3,000 infants do not receive food because their mothers do not have milk and we do not have [baby] food.'

In a call with The Guardian and other foreign media, Orlov said Russia has used 'aviation, artillery, multiple rocket launchers, grads and other types of weapons we don’t even know about' in their efforts to take control, adding: 'This isn’t simply treacherous. It’s a war crime and pure genocide. Vladimir Putin means to capture Mariupol whatever the human cost.'

Dmytro Gurin, a Ukrainian MP, said Russian troops are 'carpet bombing civilian infrastructure' in the city, where 'green corridors are besieged by Russian forces'.

Speaking to Sky News, the MP said bombing has now moved to central districts after beginning in eastern areas of the city.

Describing the current situation in the city, he said residents only had a matter of days before food supplies would run out. 'Mariupol is without heating, gas, electricity and water,' Gurin said, adding: 'People are collecting snow to have water, and in three to five days, food will be finished and [there will be] hunger once again. Hunger in the centre of Europe.'

Zelenskyy has described the bombing of the hospital as an 'atrocity', while Mariupol's city council said the destruction was 'colossal'.

Both the maternity and children's hospital were destroyed in the blast, which also caused a huge crater in the ground approximately 20ft deep and 30ft wide. 

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Illia Ponomarenko/Olena Ivantsiv/Twitter

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, World News