Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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'We ate a stray dog' Ukrainians in Mariupol using extreme measures to survive


Around 2,000 civilians are thought to have been killed in the port city of Mariupol, which has suffered some of the heaviest bombardments since the war began on February 24. A further 100,000 are thought to be trapped there. One man has revealed he and his family ate a stray dog to stave off hunger – in the face of mass food shortages.

Already weeks ago, aid agencies warned of the “humanitarian catastrophe” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the biggest offensive in Europe since World War Two, would cause.

As supplies of food run perilously low, Sasha Volkov, the deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s delegation in the city, described harrowing scenes.

She said: “Some people still have food, but I’m not sure for how long it will last. Many people report having no food for children. People started to attack each other for food. People started to ruin someone’s car to take the gasoline out.”

Local Alexandr Volodko, 21, told The Telegraph: “We spotted a stray dog, it was already not doing well. We were so desperate we cooked it. We were starving and I am ashamed to say it.”

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In an address earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said citizens were completely encircled by Russia’s military.

He said: “No food, no water, no medicine.

“Under constant shelling, under constant bombing.”

The Kremlin needs its soldiers to take the strategically important city of Mariupol in order to create a land corridor between annexed Crimea and the Russian-backed regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in southeastern Ukraine.

Those who remain in Mariupol, if not killed in an attack or by starvation, are in danger of being deported by Russian soldiers who are said to be taking Ukrainians to “filtration camps”.

Vladimir Putin’s forces are, according to the Ukrainian defence ministry, driving around parts of the southeastern city claiming the city of Odesa has fallen and other refugee hotspots were now rejecting fleeing residents.

The ministry of defence claimed those evacuated by the Russians were being funnelled through camps, such as one in Dokuchaievsk, in the self-proclaimed republic in Donetsk, to then be moved onward to Russia itself.

It said: “A number of northern regions are mentioned as the final destination, including Sakhalin.

“Ukrainians are being offered official employment through employment centres. Those who agree receive documents banning them from leaving Russian regions for two years.”

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