Mariupol under siege, as Russia tightens grip in southern Ukraine

Kyiv, March 3 : Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol came under a relentless barrage of Russian shelling that smashed residential buildings and cut off power and water supplies, witnesses said on Thursday, BBC reported. “There has been no light, no heat, and no water now for two full days and we have hardly any food left,” said said one of the witnesses., adding that “Food and medicine is not moving in Mariupol now. The local government tried to give out bread and water but it is gone,”. Comm cations are virtually down for two days, preventing people in the city from reaching one another. Multiple calls to residents either disconnected repeatedly or failed to connect in the first place. Speaking to the BBC on Thursday morning, the city’s deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov said the whole city was now without power, water, or its sanitation system. Mariupol, a city of 400,000, is a key strategic target for Russia, as seizing it would allow Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine to join forces with troops in Crimea, the southern peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. Russia’s defence ministry urged civilians on Thursday to evacuate the city by a humanitarian corridor, but residents said that the continuous shelling has made it difficult for them to move to safer places. ACL2201

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