Mariupol residents forced to eat their pets

The port city, besieged for more than a month by Russian troops, is virtually cut off from the world. Sergeï Orlov, deputy mayor of the city, reports on our antenna that nearly 150,000 civilians are still trapped under the bombardments.

A martyr city subjected to unimaginable tragedies. Mariupol reflects the plight of Ukrainian civilians, trapped in this port city surrounded by Russian forces since late February.

The bombardments of civilian buildings and the fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian forces prevent any evacuation of the population. This Friday, the Red Cross ruled that it was “impossible” to evacuate civilians from Mariupol, a disappointment as residents struggle to feed themselves and find something to survive.

“The blockade makes any humanitarian convoy impossible,” Sergei Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, explains on BFMTV. The elected official specifies on our antenna that the remains of food which existed in the city were “either destroyed during the bombings, or looted by our own inhabitants who are simply looking for food.”

“There’s nothing left to eat”

“Sometimes we are already starting to cook the pets because there is nothing left to eat. It is absolutely terrible”, continues Sergei Orlov. According to him, the inhabitants who were able to find food “make fires and prepare food in the street […] but there are a lot of people dying when they cook because the Russians keep bombing all the time.”

The deputy mayor says that the evacuation of civilians began on Thursday, but that it has so far concerned people residing in the villages around Mariupol, which remains inaccessible.

“It is impossible to enter the city itself”, assures Sergeï Orlov, “Russia completely blocks the humanitarian convoys as well as the evacuation of the inhabitants.”

About 150,000 people still in the city

About 2,530 people, including 710 children, have so far been evacuated from the Mariupol conurbation, according to the deputy mayor. A tiny part of the population, the majority of which is still trapped in the city.

“We believe that there are still 150,000 intramural inhabitants and of course among which many children”, estimates Sergeï Orlov. “These inhabitants live like mice: underground, in shelters, in cellars… in order to be able to survive”, he concludes.

A new attempt by the Red Cross to evacuate civilians will take place on Saturday.

Hugues Garnier BFMTV journalist

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