In televised comments, Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychenko said it had been difficult to calculate the exact number of casualties since the street fighting began.
Boychenko told the Associated Press, Monday, that Russian forces brought mobile crematoria to the city to dispose of the bodies, and accused Russian forces of refusing to allow humanitarian convoys to enter the city in an attempt to hide the massacre.
The mayor had earlier announced the death of 5,000 people. He explained that this data dates back to March 21, but “thousands of other people were lying in the streets, and it was impossible for us to collect it.”
On Monday, the mayor said that about 120,000 civilians are still in Mariupol in dire need of food, water, warmth and communications.
Boychenko said about 150,000 people had managed to leave the city in private cars to other parts of Ukraine and that at least 33,000 had been taken to Russia or to separatist lands in Ukraine.
(Reporting by Max Hander; Writing by Alexander Winning; Editing by William MacLean)
Files from The Associated Press