Tens of thousands may have died in Mariupol, Zelenskyy says

4 November 2022, 12:12 AM
Mariupol under occupation (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Mariupol under occupation (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Tens of thousands of civilians may have died in occupied and largely destroyed Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after a meeting with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, on Nov.3. An accurate number of civilian casualties could only be ascertained after the city is liberated.

“Unfortunately, death doesn’t choose between diasporas,” Zelenskyy said.

“I think a lot of people died there (in Mariupol). Soon we will know how many, and I’m afraid this number can’t be measured in tens or hundreds. Unfortunately, we are talking about thousands and even tens of thousands of people.”

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The president added he doesn’t have an exact number, but it will become clear once the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberate Mariupol. According to him, up to 70% of the city has been destroyed, and there is no information about the condition of partially destroyed buildings.

“When we liberate towns and small villages with a population of several hundreds to several thousand residents, we usually find a burial place of 500 people or 600 people,” Zelenskyy explained.

“We can only imagine what that casualty rate could mean for a city of half a million.”

He added that members of the Greek diaspora remained in the occupied city, but there is no information on how many of them have died during the siege and subsequent occupation of Mariupol.

Mariupol has suffered immensely from being besieged by Russian forces in the very first weeks of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Back in March, city authorities estimated that the city was 80-90% destroyed. The city remains largely without power or water supply; its central heating system is inoperable.

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