Ukrainian parliament warns Mariupol residents endangered by ‘medieval living conditions’ amid siege

Associated Press/Alexei Alexandrov

The Ukrainian parliament warned on Twitter Saturday that “medieval living conditions” are endangering residents in the city of Mariupol, which has been nearly completely destroyed by a two-month Russian assault.

The parliament tweeted that 100,000 residents in the city face “mortal danger” not only due shelling from Russian forces, but also “intolerable” and “unsanitary” living conditions. 

“The air temperature has already reached 20 degrees. Powerful and deadly epidemics could soon break out in the city – due to the lack of centralized water supply and sanitation, the decomposition of thousands of corpses under the rubble, and a catastrophic shortage of water & food,” Ukraine’s parliament tweeted.

“The occupiers cannot provide the existing population with food, water, and medicine. They block all evacuation attempts. And without that, people will die. Now in the ruined #Mariupol, there are medieval living conditions. Immediate and complete evacuation is needed!”

This comes after a top United Nations official referred to Mariupol as “a center of hell” and the Ukrainian governor overseeing the city said it had been “wiped off the face of the earth” following relentless Russian attacks and a weeks-long siege that has cut Ukrainians in the city off from supplies and exit routes.

The final remaining soldiers defending the city, as well as a number of civilians, are sheltering in a steel plant. Ukrainian officials have been working on an operation to evacuate people from the plant, with a spokesperson for the U.N. secretary-general saying earlier this week that Russia had agreed “in principle” to such evacuations.

On Thursday, however, the governor of Ukraine’s Donetsk region said that Russian forces were blocking evacuations from the plant because they want to capture the remaining soldiers defending Mariupol.

“They [want to] use the opportunity to capture the defenders of Mariupol, one of the main [elements] of whom are the … Azov regiment,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko. “Therefore the Russian side is not agreeing to any evacuation measures regarding wounded [Ukrainian] troops.”

Tags Mariupol Mariupol Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine Ukrainian parliament

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