The mayor of Ukrainian port city Mariupol reported mass casualties on Wednesday as it suffers intense shelling from Russian forces.
“The enemy occupying forces of the Russian Federation have done everything to block the exit of civilians from the city of half a million people,” Mayor Vadym Boichenko said in a live broadcast on Ukrainian TV, Reuters reported. No exact casualty toll was provided.
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Russia and Ukraine have been battling for seven days as of Wednesday, leaving hundreds of transport facilities, hospitals, kindergartens and houses destroyed.
One hospital in Mariupol formed a makeshift maternity ward and bomb shelter in the basement as it comes under increasing attacks.
“I was anxious, anxious about giving birth to the baby in these times,” new mother Kateryna Suharokova told the . “I’m thankful to the doctors, who helped this baby to be born in these conditions. I believe that everything will be fine.”
“Today there are 128 people in our hospitals. Our doctors don’t even go home anymore. They are fighting for the lives of Mariupol residents,” he said.
More than 2,000 civilians are dead in Ukraine after Russia invaded the country last week, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service.
“Children, women and defense forces are losing their lives every hour,” a statement Wednesday from the emergency service said.
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The figure comes after the United Nations said Wednesday that 136 civilians have been killed, including 13 children. An additional 400 have been injured, but numbers are expected to rise, according to the U.N.
“Most of these casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area,” said Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Liz Throssell. “This includes shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems and airstrikes.”
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Ukraine reported Wednesday that more than 5,000 Russian soldiers have died.
Russian forces have increased their attacks on crowded Ukraine urban areas this week, including bombing a TV tower in the capital of Kyiv and Holocaust memorial site Babi Yar.
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In Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, at least 21 people were killed and 112 wounded by shelling over the last day, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said. A regional police and intelligence headquarters was also struck, according to the Ukrainian state emergency service.