The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol tells The Associated Press that more than 10,000 civilians have died in the southeastern city since the Russian invasion in February.
Mayor Vadym Boychenko told The Associated Press by telephone Monday that corpses were “carpeted through the streets of our city” and that the death toll could be more than 20,000.
Boychenko also said Russian forces have brought mobile crematoria to the city to dispose of the bodies and accused Russian forces of refusing to allow humanitarian convoys into the city in an attempt to disguise the carnage.
The mayor had previously claimed 5,000 dead.
He explained that these data were on March 21, but “thousands more people were lying on the streets, it was just impossible for us to collect them.”
About 120,000 civilians remain in Mariupol in dire need of food, water, warmth and communications, the mayor said.
Boychenko said that about 150,000 people have been able to leave the city in private vehicles for other parts of Ukraine and that at least 33,000 were taken to Russia or to separatist territory in Ukraine.