Ukrainians fight over food in bombed city

Kyiv, March 11 : In Ukraine’s Mariupol city, which Russia is savagely shelling, besieged and frightened civilians are beginning to fight among themselves over depleting food stocks. Grocery stores and pharmacies were emptied days ago by people breaking in to get supplies, ABC quoted a local official with the Red Cross, Sacha Volkov, as saying. A black market was operating for vegetables, meat was unavailable and people were stealing gasoline from cars, the report said. Residents, Volkov said, are turning on one another. “People started to attack each other for food.” Russian forces have struck heavily populated areas and civilian infrastructure, including a maternity hospital in the besieged southern city of Mariupol. ABC said the situation in the city of 430,000 was increasingly dire as civilians trapped inside the city scrounged for food and fuel. Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said more than 1,300 people have died in the 10-day siege of the frigid city — much larger than the UN toll. Residents have no heating or phone service, and many have no electricity. Night-time temperatures are regularly below freezing, and daytime ones normally hover just above it. Bodies are being buried in mass graves. The streets are littered with burned-out cars, broken glass and splintered trees. MR

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