The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian forces for more than a week, with residents inside facing catastrophic conditions with no power, heat or water
Dead bodies being placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol
Chilling photos from u nder siege Mariupol show corpses being discarded in mass grave sites as the death toll in the city grows.
This week it was revealed more than 1,200 people have died in the port city, formerly the home of nearly half a million people, since the start of the Russian invasion.
Described by rescuers as a humanitarian crisis, authorities have ordered workers to dig 25 metre long trenches as morgues are at breaking point.
In tragic scenes they were seen making the sign of the cross as the dead- wrapped in old carpet- are pushed into the makeshift mass graves.
Forty bodies were dumped in the trench in the cemetery on Tuesday, followed by 30 more on Wednesday. They were said to be both civilians and soldiers
No family members were seen at the gravesite to say goodbye to their loved ones.
Those still left in Mariupol face desperate circumstances as the city has no heat, power or water. Food and medicine is becoming scarce as people scramble to survive.
Injured people are helped from the wreckage of the shelled children’s hospital
The photos come as the city recovers from a devastating airstrike on a children’s hospital, killing at least 17 and injuring many more.
Mayor Vadym Boichenko “My heart today is full of rage.”
“Today Russia led by its leader President (Vladimir) Putin carried out an air strike on a peaceful city, firing on a children’s hospital,” he said.
“They wanted to take away the lives of our children, our women, our doctors.”
Sergei Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, said the official death toll is likely to be much higher than the 1,200 given out to reporters.
He added: “”We really cannot calculate how many deaths we have.
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A car burns after the destruction of Mariupol children’s hospital
“I mean it’s three to four times more [than the official count]—so we are not able even to count how many people on streets killed by bombing and artillery.”
Mariupol has been surrounded by Russians for several days with thousands believed to be hiding in basements as shelling lands above their heads.
Olena Stokoz of Ukraine’s Red Cross added: “The whole city remains without electricity, water, food, whatever and people are dying because of dehydration.”
It comes as foreign ministers from Russia and Ukraine met in Turkey on Thursday for the first time since Moscow invaded its neighbour.
A Kremlin spokesman told reporters Ukraine was also proposing talks between the two countries’ presidents.