A Ukrainian MP has alleged that Russia was attempting to starve the city of Mariupol into submission. The city has been heavily besieged by the Russians for a while now.
According to BBC News, 300,000 people are estimated to be trapped in Mariupol, running out of basic supplies and assistance barred from entering due to Russia’s besiege.
Residents of the city have been coping for weeks with Russian airstrikes, and are reported to have been running out of water and food.
MP Dmytro Gurin spoke right after Ukraine turned down a deadline calling for Mariupol’s troops to surrender in exchange for safe passage out of the city.
Gurin said there was no question of Mariupol surrendering. According to him:
“Russians don’t open humanitarian corridors, they don’t let humanitarian convoys enter the city and we see now that the goal of the Russians is to start to [create] hunger [in the city] to enforce their position in the diplomatic process and if the city does not surrender, and the city will not surrender, they won’t let people out. They won’t let humanitarian convoys into the city.”
If Russia can completely take Mariupol, the city would help Russia link the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk already overseen by Russian allies.
Images show Mariupol in ruins as over 80% of residential buildings were estimated to have been destroyed.
Bodies are strewn on the streets since it is deemed too risky to get them.
Gurin mentioned that emergency teams were still yet to see to the entire debris of a theatre exploded by an airstrike on Wednesday.
Hundreds of persons are said to still be trapped in the basement of the theatre and Russia denies hitting the building.