Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said the entire city requires evacuation, Ukrainskaya Pravda reported. The city has been besieged by Russian forces since March 1st.
"Those people who remained in the city – our respected, heroic Mariupol residents – are beyond a humanitarian catastrophe,” Boychenko stated on television.
Mariupol had a pre-war population of more than 430,000, of which an estimated 160,000 remain in the city.
“About 160,000 people, according to our estimates, are in the besieged Mariupol, in which it is impossible to live today, because there is nothing at all: no water, no light, no heat, no connection,” the Mayor explained.
Over the last week, 26,477 of the city’s residents were evacuated to Zaporozhye
“Our main mission today is to do what we have to do,” Boychenko continued. “We need a complete evacuation of Mariupol. The President of Ukraine is working on this, he spoke about it yesterday. We must save every life that still beats in the heart of Mariupol. The President of France, the President of Turkey, are working on this today. We live in the hope that we will succeed.”
Boychenko decried Russia’s “cynical game”, in which the Russian military agrees to allow humanitarian corridors but reneges on the agreement and sometimes shells the corridors.
"They wanted to destroy us as a nation. What is happening in Mariupol and Chernihiv is genocide," Boychenko said.