More than 2,000 civilians have been killed in the occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol so far, local authorities said on Tuesday.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on Feb. 24, 2,357 people have been killed, the Mariupol city council said.
The south-east Ukrainian city with some 400,000 inhabitants has been besieged by Russian troops for days and cut off from the rest of the country.
Ukrainian authorities reported severe aerial attacks on the city on the Sea of Azov. Russia says it is only attacking military targets there.
Mariupol is seen by many as a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.
Since the start of the war in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region in 2014 the city has fended off several attempts by pro-Russian separatists to take over.
The Mariupol mayor’s advisor, Petro Andriushchenko, called the situation in the city “inhumane”.
“No food, no water, no light, no heat”.
He said he fears there will be many more deaths.
“With the increasing intensity of attacks, the number of deaths could reach 20,000,” he said.
Casualty figures cannot be independently verified.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said 100 tons of food, water and medications for Mariupol had already been prevented from entering the city for three days.
The government in Kiev will try everything it can to help people, he said.(dpa/NAN)