Worsening humanitarian crisis in Mariupol -UK defense department

People stand in lines to buy foodstuff in mobile kiosks as others gather outside a damaged store of wholesaler Metro to receive humanitarian aid in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 5, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Pavel Klimov

According to an intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defence issued Wednesday, Russian airstrikes and heavy fighting persist in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

“The humanitarian situation in the city is worsening,” the intelligence update said, and “most of the 160,000 residents remaining have no light, communication, medicine, heat or water.” it added.

“Russian forces have prevented humanitarian access, likely to pressure defenders to surrender,”

Mayor Vadym Boichenko on Monday said the southern port city was “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,” with more than 100,000 people still requiring evacuation.

Ukrainian officials have consistently decried the Russian military for obstructing humanitarian aid and annulling pledges to permit evacuation corridors for civilians.

According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk,  an evacuation convoy of seven buses accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross was held up Monday in Manhush, a Russian-held town to the west of Mariupol.

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