Ukrainian authorities in Mariupol on Thursday said that about 15,000 civilians had been illegally deported to Russia since Russian forces seized parts of the southern port city.
As per Ukrainian officials, civilians trapped in Mariupol, which is usually home to 400,000 people, face a desperate plight without access to food, water, power or heat.
According to local authorities, thousands of residents had been taken by force across the border but did not provide a more precise figure. Whereas, Russian media states at the time that buses had carried several hundred people Moscow calls refugees Mariupol to Russia in recent days.
Mariupol city council had released a statement on Thursday that, “Residents of the Left Bank district are beginning to be deported en masse to Russia. In total, about 15,000 Mariupol residents have been subjected to illegal deportation.”
Whereas Russia denies targeting civilians in what President Putin calls a “special military operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and the West stated that Putin called an unprovoked war of aggression.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk mentioned in a video briefing that Ukrainian authorities were continuing efforts to secure an agreement from Russia to open a safe corridor to and from Mariupol.
Meanwhile, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a video address to Italy’s parliament that there was “nothing left” in Mariupol after weeks of Russian bombardment.