31,000 civilians from Ukraine's besieged Mariupol forcibly taken to Russia: Mayor

Civilians subjected to various humiliations, harsh treatment, fingerprints taken, says Vadim Boychenko.

31,000 civilians from Ukraine's besieged Mariupol forcibly taken to Russia: Mayor

At least 31,000 civilians from southeastern Ukraine's besieged port city of Mariupol were forcibly taken to Russia, according to the mayor on Friday.

Vadim Boychenko told local television that civilians from Mariupol were forcibly taken to Russia or the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" by Russian forces and officials have a verified list of residents forcibly relocated from their homes.

Noting that residents were subjected to various humiliations, Boychenko said Russian authorities treated them harshly, took fingerprints and forced them to sign various documents.

He said only the Berdyansk-Zaporizhzhia humanitarian corridor currently operates in the Mariupol region and residents are evacuated to safe areas via that route.

Boychenko noted that 95,000 civilians from Mariupol have been taken to Zaporizhzhia through the corridor.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry wrote earlier on Twitter that 90% of buildings in Mariupol have been destroyed.

"The city is in a state of humanitarian catastrophe: the dead are buried in mass graves, there is a lack of water, food, no communications," it wrote.

Russia began its war against Ukraine on Feb. 24. It has drawn international outrage, with the EU, US, and the UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,626 civilians have been killed and 2,267 injured in Ukraine, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.

More than 4.3 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with over 7 million more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

Hüseyin Demir

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