The image of beleaguered Mariupol that emerges from the reports and testimonies of survivors is one of untold human suffering as a result of the grave human rights violations that are committed there on a daily basis. Thousands of the city’s residents are growing increasingly desperate as clean water, food and medicine have become extremely scarce. The relentless shelling has killed thousands of residents and continues to obliterate what remains of the city’s infrastructure, including schools and hospital services. With many families unable to bury their dead, the bodies of some of the victims are said to be strewn in the streets, while others are said to have been buried in mass graves.
Several attempts made so far to create humanitarian corridors to evacuate people failed and the bombardment of the town and the evacuation routes soon resumed. While some Mariupol residents have managed to flee to safety, others remain trapped in the city, and many more have had no choice but to evacuate to Russian-held territory. . With electricity, gas, food and water cut off by the bombardments, thousands of residents hide in cold underground shelters as the world watches in shock at the horror.
This terrible suffering cannot last. The desperately needed humanitarian and medical aid must be able to reach the men, women and children of Mariupol urgently. Humanitarian corridors must be agreed without delay to allow those wishing to leave the city to do so safely, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to have immediate access to the city.
The siege of Mariupol is a humanitarian catastrophe. The blatant disregard for civilian life and the suffering of the people of Mariupol must end immediately.