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Authorities say more than 2,000 civilians have been killed so far in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
The city council said 2,357 people had been killed in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.
For several days, Russian forces have been besieging the city of southeastern Ukraine, home to about 400,000 people, and cutting off communication between it and other parts of the country.
Ukrainian authorities have announced violent airstrikes on a city overlooking the Sea of Azov. Russia says it is bombing only military targets in the city.
Many see Mariupol as a symbol of Ukrainian opposition. Since the start of the war in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine in 2014, the city has faced several attempts by pro-Russian separatists to take control of it.
Pedro Andriyushenko, an adviser to the city mayor, described the situation as “inhumane”.
He said, “No food, no water, no lights, no heat.” He feared further casualties. He added that as the attacks intensified, the death toll could rise to 20,000.
It should be noted that the number of casualties cannot be verified independently.
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