Fierce fighting is raging in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. Russia is constantly attacking here.
The mayor of the Russian-besieged city of Mariupol said it was difficult to rescue those trapped under the rubble of the bombed-out theater because of heavy fighting in the city.
Vadin Boychenko told the BBC that the relief and rescue team was able to remove the debris only after the fight was over.
Ukrainian officials say the theater site was openly designated a civilian base, despite Russia’s bombing. Russia has denied the allegations.
Russian forces besieged the city of Mariupol. Electricity, water and gas supply to the city have been cut off.
Russia has also banned humanitarian aid to the city. There are still three lakh people in the city.
According to Ukraine, Russia has attacked hospitals, churches and numerous residential buildings. Local officials estimate that 80 percent of the city’s buildings have been completely destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
The fiercest fighting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has taken place around the city of Mariupol.
These port cities, located on the shores of the Sea of Azov, are of strategic importance to Ukraine.
If Russia seizes it, a road could be established between the eastern parts of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are controlled by Russian-backed separatist fighters, and the Russian-controlled Crimea. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
In a statement on Friday, Russia said the rope around Mariupol was tightening. Boyshenko, on the other hand, says that there are tanks inside the city, fired by heavy artillery, and that all kinds of heavy weapons are here. Boishenko’s statement confirms Russia’s claim.
Communication with the city has also become difficult. The telephone networks here can only operate for a few hours a day. Amid a series of bombings in Russia, ordinary civilians are living in basements or houses. They can’t come out.
In an earlier interview, Poyashenko had said that the city center was completely destroyed.
“There is not even a small area within the city where there are no traces of war,” he said.
“Removing the ruins of the theater, which was destroyed by heavy fighting, has become very dangerous. People are still trapped in the rubble after Wednesday’s attack,” Boishenko said.
If there is peace for a while, the garbage is removed and people are evacuated, ”he said.
This theater was a large building in Soviet times. Satellite images showed ‘children’ written outside the theater in Russian, indicating that the building was being used as a refuge.
Most of those trapped inside the building were elderly people, women and children hiding in dark rooms.
In a video released on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said some of those evacuated were seriously injured, but the death toll from the attack was not yet known.
President Zhelensky has accused Russia of committing war crimes by halting humanitarian aid to besiege cities. “This is a purely planned strategy. They (the Russian military) have clear orders to create any kind of humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine so that the Ukrainian people can cooperate with the occupiers,” he said.
Mariupol officials say at least two and a half thousand people have been killed in fighting so far in the city. However, he says the actual number could be higher than this. The bodies of many of those killed in the accident have not been recovered. Many are buried in mass graves.
Boyshenko says 40,000 people have left the city so far, while 20,000 are waiting to leave the city. The public leaves the city in private vehicles.
He says attempts to create a humanitarian path have failed. Ukraine has accused Russia of continuing to attack Mariupol despite agreeing to a ceasefire.
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