The mayor-in-exile of the ruined and occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol said Friday that he fears a spike in deadly diseases as temperatures rise, given the corpses still on city streets.
“There is an outbreak of dysentery and cholera. This is unfortunately the assessment of our doctors: that the war which took over 20,000 residents … unfortunately, with these infection outbreaks, will claim thousands more Mariupolites,” Mayor Vadym Boychenko said on Ukrainian television.
Boychenko, who left the city during its siege and before the Russian occupation, said Mariupol had been recently placed under quarantine.
The battered city has faced the grim necessity of burying its dead since early in the war, when Russian blockades and constant bombardment left the city morgues unpowered and overflowing, forcing local authorities to dig mass graves to get dead bodies off the streets.
Months later, Russian occupiers are struggling with the same issue, struggling to collect the bodies of dead Mariupol civilians.
As a result, Boychenko said, wells have been poisoned by decomposing bodies, and corpses are rotting in the rising summer temperatures.
“They just demolish houses and take out the rubble together with the killed Mariupol residents. Because the real number of bodies under the rubble of destroyed houses is frightening,” Boychenko said on Telegram.
“Nearly 50 to 100 people were killed under almost every destroyed house, and 1,300 high-rise buildings were destroyed in Mariupol.”
Some 100,000 people are thought to remain in the occupied city, which had a peacetime population of more than 430,000.
With Post wires