Pro-Kremlin site briefly publishes apparent Russian death toll: 9,861 dead and 16,153 injured

Civilians fleeing Mariupol describe street battles; fate of those in the bombed-out theater, art school still unknown

LVIV – Civilians dangerously escaping from Ukraine’s beleaguered southern port center of Mariupol describe fleeing through street-to-street gun battles and past unburied corpses as a constant Russian bombardment attempts to submit the city.

“There are no more buildings there,” said Maria Fiodorova, 77, who crossed the Polish border after five days of travel.

Olga Nikitina, who fled Mariupol for the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, said gunshots blasted through her windows and her apartment fell below zero.

“Battles took place in all the streets. Every house has become a target,” she says.

A woman who gave her name as Yulia says she and her family sought refuge in Bezimenne after a bombardment destroyed six houses behind her house.

“That’s why we got in the car, at our own risk, and left in 15 minutes because everything is destroyed there, dead bodies are lying around,” she says. “They don’t let us go everywhere – there are shootings.”

With communications crippled, movement restricted and many residents in hiding, the fate of those inside a razed arts school on Sunday and a theater that was destroyed four days earlier is uncertain. not clear. It is thought that more than 1,300 people took refuge in the theater and 400 would have been in art school.

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