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Mariupol under siege: ‘We are being completely cut off’

Mariupol under siege: 'We are being completely cut off'

Image Source: BBC

In an interview with Reuters, the Ukrainian port of Mariupol detailed their battle to survive a relentless barrage of Russian shelling, which has demolished residential zones and cut off power and water supplies.

Maxim, a 27-year-old IT developer, was holed up in his grandparents’ apartment on Thursday morning since there had been no light, no heat, and no water for two full days at that point. “We just have a minimal amount of food left,” he said. “We’ve just got a few days’ worths of food left.”

“Food and medication are not being transported in Mariupol at this time. The local administration attempted to provide food and drink, but the supplies were depleted, “he said. “I was able to fill the bath with water before the water ran out. We only have roughly five liters of water left.”

Upon learning of the Russian invasion’s onset, Maxim immediately left his flat to go live with his grandparents, who are in their nineties and unable to leave their sixth-floor apartment in the heart of the city. As a result of the barrage of shelling that is taking place outside their flat, the three of them have taken refuge with their dogs in the corridor, which has no heating in the dead of winter.

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According to Maxim, around six o’clock, the shelling resumed this morning. “Apart from the explosions, there was no source of light in the city throughout the night. The city was dark. It was quiet for a few hours, but then it began up again at the crack of dawn. We can now hear it coming from every direction at once. We are terrified.”

It is a significant strategic goal for Russia since capturing it would enable Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine to join forces with soldiers in Crimea, the southern peninsula Russia invaded in 2014. Mariupol has a population of 400,000 and is a port city.

According to the Russian military ministry, citizens were advised to flee the city through a humanitarian corridor on Thursday. However, locals claimed there had been no pause in the bombardment that would enable them to do so.
Residents said that communications had been practically down for the last two days, prohibiting individuals in the city from communicating with one another. Calls to residents were either terminated frequently or failed to connect on several occasions.

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“We had 15 major power lines, and they are all now out of commission. As a result of the artillery bombardment, we are entirely cut off. The only thing left is the natural gas supply, “he said.

While Mariupol is still technically a part of Ukraine at the moment, and we retain control inside the perimeter, there is combat taking place out on the streets on the outside, and we are on the verge of a humanitarian disaster.

As of Tuesday morning, Mr. Orlov had not yet been successful in reaching his parents and brother, who all live in the same residential neighborhood that has been intensively attacked since Monday night, he said.

“I can’t go to them by any way since the shelling is nonstop,” says the author.

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In the city, Dmytro, an activist, said that he could hear continuous gunfire and explosions from where he was taking refuge. It took less than a minute until the phone connection was lost, and he could not be contacted again.

Alexander, a 44-year-old engineer in the city, said he and his family were taking refuge in a five-story building with his wife, two boys, and mother.

For the last five days, he has been bombarded and shelled, and he says he can hear guns and bombs all the time right now.

“There is still some bread available at a nearby grocery store, but we are unsure when the food supply will run out. What will happen if we run out of water before the end of the year? What will happen if the battery in my phone runs out? We shall have no way of communicating with anybody or anything outside of our group.”

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