The deputy mayor of Mariupol told the BBC that Russian forces continued to pound areas where people were trying to gather ahead of being taken out. He said some roads were blocked, while others were mined. “So we cannot establish a sustainable cease-fire and safety route at the moment,″ Serhiy Orlov said. “So we still have ... a city in blockade.”

An attempt to evacuate civilians from the bombarded port of Mariupol and deliver food, water and medicine was thrown into jeopardy Tuesday by what Ukraine said was continued shelling by Russian forces as conditions inside the strategic city of 430,000 grew more desperate, AP reports.

Corpses littered the streets of Mariupol, where besieged residents have increasingly turned to breaking into stores to try to feed themselves. People got water from streams or by melting snow.

Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II grew even more severe, with U.N. officials reporting that 2 million people have now fled Ukraine.

Moscow’s forces have laid siege to Ukrainian cities and cut off food, water, heat and medicine in a growing humanitarian disaster. But for days, attempts to create corridors to safely evacuate civilians have stumbled amid continuing fighting and objections to the proposed routes.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse