IRYNA BALACHUK - THURSDAY, 17 MARCH 2022, 10:07 A.M.
Serhiy Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, believes that the city is currently 80-90 per cent destroyed, with the death toll exceeding 2,300, but many are still under the rubble, so the death toll could be much higher.
Source: Serhiy Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, in an interview with Forbes
According to Orlov: "I believe that 80-90% (of Mariupol - ed.) has been bombed. There is not a single building without damage. Either destroyed or damaged".
Details: According to Orlov, there were between 350,000 and 400,000 residents in Mariupol at the time of the blockade.
As of 13 March, 2,358 people had died. At the same time, Orlov explained that these were only the dead whose bodies were on the street. At the same time, there are more people under the rubble, so the number of dead "can safely be multiplied by a factor of one-and-a-half to two."
The deputy mayor added that the victims of war are being buried in mass graves. About 70% of the dead are identified - the authorities are trying to keep a record: those who have documents are put onto registers.
People are being buried right in the city centre, in the City Garden, because the surrounding countryside is closed - the Russian military is not allowing municipal workers to enter functioning cemeteries. Some people bury the dead in the backyards of houses.
According to Orlov, the invaders have shot up almost all the vehicles of the State Emergency Service, so it is impossible for the emergency services to attend the fires.
Currently there are "literally a few cars of the water supply company working in the city, delivering water". A small proportion of residents living in private homes can draw water from wells. At the same time, those who were living in apartment buildings have been draining water from the heating systems and using this water, taking water from puddles and melting snow when they had it.
Not a single factory in the city is working and there is no way to get the work started. The "Azovstal" iron and steel works have been destroyed by bombardment.
As for the doctors taken hostage, according to Orlov, one of the interns said that the Russians who captured them had brought in a bunch of wounded Russians and were forcing them to treat them.
According to the deputy mayor, the worst thing about this war is not having answers to people's questions.
Not having answers to the questions of the mothers of 3,000 babies about where to get baby food, because there is none in the city. Not to have answers to the questions of mothers of older children who are dying of hunger about where to get food, because there is no food either, because the occupiers are not letting the humanitarian convoy through.
Not having an answer to the questions of people who are trapped in a bomb shelter as to whether they can be freed.
Background: Mariupol has been under siege by the Russian occupiers since 3 March and is experiencing artillery shelling and air raids on a daily basis. According to the city council's estimates, on 15 March alone, the Russian army carried out 22 air raids on the city, dropping 100 bombs.
Civilians are living in basements around the clock, while defenders are fighting hard for the city.
The death toll as of 13 March stood at 2,358. People are being buried in mass graves right in the city centre.