During three months of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, at least 22,000 civilians were killed in Mariupol. CNN reports this citing the mayor's adviser Petro Andriushchenko.
The figure is based on the many contacts Andriushchenko and other town hall officials continue to have with officials trapped inside. However, the actual figure could be much higher.
According to the mayor’s adviser, the process of reburying the dead has been complicated by Russian official insistence that reclaimed bodies be brought to a morgue and that a person claiming a body must agree to record a video in which the applicant says the deceased was killed by the Ukrainian military.
"Mariupol is now a city of ghosts," he added.
According to Andriushchenko, Mariupol is a city thrown back to the Middle Ages. It is absolutely dark inside Mariupol, the only lights are from Russian troops and Russian patrols.
The mayor's adviser said his contacts paint a picture of a city in the grips of a humanitarian catastrophe with very little contact to the outside world.
Mobile phone connections are only just beginning to be re-established. Residents are unable to move freely, with special passes needed for any movement within the city.
Context. According to the UN, since the start of the war, thousands more civilians have been killed in Ukraine than previously thought.