Conditions in Russian-occupied Mariupol are now “medieval,” an advisor to the city’s Ukrainian mayor said Friday.
“Mariupol is now in the medieval,” Petro Andriushchenko told national television. “Water supply is only available in 2-3% of the city’s households. People wash their clothes in puddles on the streets.”
“The risk of disease spreading is rising day by day. There is information that people come to doctors with symptoms similar to dysentery or cholera,” he said.
The World Health Organization last month said that it too was concerned about the risk of cholera in Mariupol, calling the hygienic situation there “a huge hazard.”
Andriushchenko is not in the city but has been a reliable conduit for information from Mariupol.
He said that Russia was in the process of building a “military camp” at the city.
“Departure from Mariupol is possible only to Russia,” Andriushchenko said. “We advise people to leave, but on their own and not in official columns, and then go towards the Baltic countries or Georgia. We advise people to drive non-stop and cross the border ASAP.”
Crossing from Russian-occupied Mariupol to Ukrainian-held territory, he said, was impossible.
On May 20, the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol -- the final stand and a powerful symbol of Ukrainian resistance in an otherwise Russian-occupied city -- fell to Russian troops after nearly three months of brutal fighting.
At least 1,348 civilians were killed during the battle of Mariupol, including 70 children, a top United Nations official said Thursday.
“The actual death toll of hostilities on civilians is likely thousands higher,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.