(CNN) – Ukraine’s General Staff said early Tuesday that Ukrainian forces “continue to maintain a circular defense” in the city of Mariupol, as Russian forces consolidated control of the southeastern port city.
The mayor of Mariupol said, on Monday, that the evacuation corridors were largely under the control of Russian forces, after weeks of bombing that left the city in pieces, killing an unknown number of civilians and forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to leave their homes.
“Not everything is in our power,” Vadim Boychenko, the pro-government mayor of Mariupol, said in a live television interview. “Unfortunately, we are today in the hands of its occupants.”
Boychenko called for the complete evacuation of the remaining residents of Mariupol, who numbered more than 400,000 before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
“According to our estimates, today there are about 160,000 people in the besieged city of Mariupol, where it is impossible to live because there is no water, no electricity, no heating and no connections,” he said. “This is so scary.”
It was not clear if fighting was still going on inside the city.
Ukrainian officials assert that Russian forces have prevented humanitarian convoys from safely approaching or leaving the city. A pro-Russian separatist leader said on Sunday that about 1,700 Mariupol residents are being “evacuated” daily from the city and its surroundings, but Ukrainian officials say the Russians are already carrying out what they describe as the forced deportation of thousands of people. to Russia.
“We need a complete evacuation of Mariupol,” Boychenko said. “Our most important task today is to save all lives … and there is hope that we will succeed. For example, there are 26 buses that have to go to Mariupol to evacuate, but unfortunately they did not get permission to move. And this game is played every day. It is a satirical game Like, “Yeah, we’re ready. You can drive there, ‘But it doesn’t really work.’
“Our hero drivers, under fire, are trying to get to places where they can take Mariupol residents, and wait in the hope of getting such an opportunity. But the Russian Federation has been playing with us from day one.”
Statistics released by Ukrainian authorities on Sunday paint a bleak picture of the results of weeks of bombing and fighting in cities in Mariupol.
According to those figures, 90% of residential buildings in the city were damaged, of which 60% were direct hit and 40% were destroyed.
Seven city hospitals were damaged – 90% of the city’s hospital capacity – of which three were destroyed. Three maternity hospitals were also damaged (one destroyed), seven higher education institutes (three destroyed), 57 schools and 70 nurseries, and 23 and 28 destroyed, respectively.
Many factories were damaged and the city’s port was damaged.
According to official statistics, up to 140 thousand people left the city before the siege of the city, and about 150 thousand managed to leave during the siege. During the height of the siege, about 170,000 people remained in the city, and Ukrainian authorities say 30,000 people from Mariupol were deported to Russia.
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