Mariupol has been the victim of attacks by Russian troops because of its strategic position along Ukraine’s southern border.
For several weeks now, the city has been attacked near-indiscriminately. One Human Rights Watch report broadcasted on Monday characterized the city as a “freezing hellscape riddled with dead bodies and destroyed buildings”.
According to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, about a quarter of the population – or 100,000 people – are still trapped in “inhumane conditions”.
The president described the atrocity suffered by residents in his midnight address: “No food. No water. No medicine. Under constant shelling, under constant bombing.”
Also, Mr Zelensky said Ukraine officials and allies were doing their best to get aid into the city and more civilians out, he said. On Tuesday, about 7,000 people managed to escape the city.
However, those fleeing have also been assaulted along the negotiated humanitarian corridors, he said.
On Tuesday, one humanitarian convoy was captured by Russian troops, he claimed.
According to him, state emergency workers and bus drivers were taken prisoner.
“We are doing everything we can to free our people and unblock the movement of humanitarian aid,” he said.