Over 2,500 civilians have been killed in Russian army attacks on the besieged city of Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine, a senior official from the Ukrainian President's Office said in a statement on Monday.
In the port city of Mariupol, the Ukrainian army has so far thwarted Russian attacks, but also “according to official local government data, more than 2,500 civilians have died as a result of Russian attacks,” according to Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the presidency.
But Russian forces have been unable to capture the city, he said in a statement cited by local media outlets, accusing them of targeting civilian structures.
"The Russians want to wipe the city off the face of the earth,” he said.
Arestovych said on Saturday that Ukraine's military had destroyed one-third of Russia's army.
"According to our command, out of over 90 battalion tactical groups used by the enemy in Ukraine since Feb. 24, more than 30 have been destroyed or lost combat capability,” he asserted, adding that in other words, “we've defeated a third of the enemy's forces.”
Earlier on Sunday, the Red Cross said a "worst-case scenario" awaits hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in Mariupol, who are facing starvation or death unless a concrete humanitarian agreement is reached urgently.
“Hundreds of thousands of the city's residents are now facing extreme or total shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medicine,” said a statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
According to UN estimates, some 2.8 million people have fled to neighboring nations since Russia started its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24.
At least 596 civilians have also been killed and 1,067 injured in Ukraine, it said.
While the EU, US, and others have imposed sanctions on Moscow, many multinational companies and brands have also suspended operations in Russia.