Mayor of Mariupol calls for safe evacuation routes

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The mayor of the city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine stressed the need for safe evacuation routes for residents.

Vadym Boichenko spoke on Wednesday in an online interview with NHK. He is now in another town, organizing the evacuation of civilians.

He said the situation in Mariupol is tragic, with the townspeople facing a lack of water, food, electricity, heating and means of communication. He said water is the biggest problem and the situation has become a humanitarian crisis.

Boichenko said street battles continued and half of the central part of the city was occupied by Russian forces.

He said more than 100,000 people are still left behind in the city and accused Russian forces of obstructing the transport of relief supplies and the evacuation of civilians.

The mayor also said that Russia was blocking the transport of 200 tons of humanitarian supplies prepared by the Ukrainian government.

He said Russia fears its war crimes will be exposed to international organizations, such as the United Nations and the Red Cross.

Boichenko said the fighting must stop for at least two weeks to ensure safe escape routes. He called on the international community to make efforts to achieve these goals.

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