• Tue. May 17th, 2022

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‘Complete catastrophe’: Mariupol suffers under Russian siege

Roughly 200,000 civilians have attempted to evacuate the city in recent days without success. The destruction — and the death toll — is mounting.

Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov said on MSNBC that his estimate of 1,200 civilian deaths in the city is likely too low, with the final numbers likely three or four times higher.

“We cannot imagine how it’s possible,” he said. 

March 10, 202209:13

Russia has made significant gains on the ground in the country’s south in an apparent bid to cut off Ukraine’s access to the sea.

Capturing Mariupol, a strategic port city of 400,000 people in the southeastern Donetsk region, could allow Russia to build a land corridor to Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

NBC News spoke with one resident still inside the city and several Mariupol natives this week who managed to escape. 

Yuri Bakulin has been posting videos from inside the city on social media, showing him driving along quiet, snow-covered roads.

He said he had decided to stay despite the deteriorating situation. His family has access to water via a well, he said via Telegram on Thursday, as well as generators for electricity.

Bakulin, 19, said he was due to finish his studies before Russia invaded. Now, he said, he had found purpose in visiting families who have no internet to contact their loved ones and filming videos to send on and show they are still alive. He said he was just trying to “not fall into a stupor.”