Mariupol ‘Doesn’t Exist Anymore,’ Estimated 21,000 Casualties

(Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, has been almost entirely destroyed by Russian troops, according to Ukrainian officials Sunday.

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CBS that Mariupol “doesn’t exist anymore,” after seven weeks of attacks from Russian forces. “The remainings of the Ukrainian army and large group of civilians are basically encircled by the Russian forces. They continue their struggle, but it seems from the way the Russian army behaves in Mariupol, they decided to raze the city to the ground at any cost,” he continued.

At least 21,0000 people have been killed and a majority of the city is rubble, according to Fox News. In the earliest weeks of the war, a maternity hospital was hit by a Russian airstrike and roughly 300 people were killed as they sheltered in a theatre. An estimated 100,000 citizens remain in the city that was once home to 450,000 Ukrainian citizens, the outlet reported.

None of the remaining residents have access to food, water, heat or electricity, Fox noted. Kuleba said he anticipates the war will continue into the coming weeks with a large-scale Russian offensive in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian military suggested that roughly 2,500 Ukrainian fighters are using a warren of underground passageways at a large, local steel plant as a last pocket of resistance in the city, Fox reported. Moscow set a surrender-or-die deadline for those in Mariupol for Easter Sunday. (RELATED: Insane Footage Shows British Journalists Under Brutal Russian Attack In Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the destruction of Mariupol has the potential to “put an end to any format of negotiations,” Fox reported. There are no high-level talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiating teams at this time, Kuleba confirmed Sunday to CBS.

Videos continue to surface of the exceptional violence taking place across Ukraine as Russian forces advance.