Mariupol, an important Ukrainian port city, is subjected to “continuous shelling, bombing, and occasional street fighting”, according to deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov.
For over two weeks, thousands of people have been besieged there, encircled by Russian forces firing rockets and mortars that have damaged several structures. According to local officials, there is an urgent need for food, water, medications, and power.
“Humanitarian disaster and genocide persist”, argues Orlov.
The city is strategically important since conquering it would allow Russia to connect up its forces in Crimea and the eastern Donbas area, allowing it to dominate the shore.
Ukraine claims that the civilian death toll has surpassed 2,500.