The mayor of the besieged city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, Vadym Boichenko, says the Russian military are creating a "humanitarian catastrophe" in the city.
In a post on his Telegram account Thursday, the mayor said:
"They are blocking the supply and repair of electricity, water and heat. They have also damaged the railways. They have destroyed bridges and smashed trains so that we can't evacuate women, children and the elderly out of Mariupol."
Russia is stopping food supplies, "blocking us like in former Leningrad [in the Second World War], deliberately destroying the city's critical life-support infrastructure for seven days," said the mayor, who added that the city had no light, water or heat.
"We are working with international institutions to create a ‘green corridor’ for the humanitarian mission. We are working to ensure ceasefire to restore electricity," said Boichenko.
“We are being destroyed as a nation. This is the genocide of the Ukrainian people. These hypocrites came to ‘save’ Russian-speaking citizens of Mariupol and the region," continued the mayor. "But they arranged the extermination of Ukrainians -- Mariupol residents of Russian, Ukrainian, Greek and other origins."