Mayor of Mariupol: Corpses pollute water

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Mayor of Mariupol: Corpses pollute water

Mayor Vadim Boychenko said that the wells were polluted because of the corpses of people killed during the weeks of Russian bombing and siege, and that the Russian occupier was making very slow progress in collecting the corpses.

"Dysentery and cholera have appeared. Our doctors' assessment is, unfortunately, as follows: the war, which took over 20,000 inhabitants, will probably kill thousands of Mariupol residents due to the outbreak," he said on state television.

Boychenko, who is outside Mariupol, said the city is in quarantine. "The European Union can take a historic step that will prove that words about the people of Ukraine belonging to the European family are not just words," he said, asking the European Union to accept Ukraine as a membership candidate.

Russia is struggling to provide basic public services to the population in Russian-occupied territories, it said. Russia did not immediately comment on the assertions by Mr. Boichenko or the British defence ministry.

'This is an artillery war now'

Ukrainian officials have pleaded for more help from the West, including quicker deliveries of weapons to hold off better-armed Russian forces at a critical time in the battle in the east.

Heavy fighting was still being reported in Sievierodonetsk, the small eastern city that has become the focus of Russia's advance and one of the bloodiest flashpoints in a war that has increased financial and physical hardship around the world.

Ukraine says there are now 100,000 people in Mariupol

Ukraine says there are currently 100,000 people in Mariupol. The bustling city before the war had about 430 thousand inhabitants, but now it is an urban wasteland. Boychenko, who said last month that Russian bombing had turned Mariupol into a "medieval ghetto", said residents were forced to drink water from wells because the city's water and sewage system was no longer operational.

He called on the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to work on establishing a humanitarian corridor to help residents leave the city, which Ukrainian authorities say still lacks a centralized water, electricity or gas supply. Last month, the World Health Organization warned of the possibility of a cholera outbreak in Mariupol.