Thousands have died in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol since the Russian invasion began in February and the remaining residents are living in fear with no basic amenities available to them.

Though some families managed to escape the city to relative safety, some have not been so lucky and are still trapped in a city that has no running water, food, nor electricity. Nadia Denysenko, one of the residents who managed to flee, recalled her last days in Mariupol with utmost despair.

She and her family witnessed explosions, shelling and had to go without food for days. "It was hell. Just hell," Nadia told BBC. "It did not matter whether you had money...there was no food left in the city," she added.

It's so quiet for the first time at night, but I can't sleep. If the photos from liberated Bucha, where only 42,000 people lived, is a horror and shock, what kind of hell awaits us in Mariupol?#RussianWarCrimes

— Oleksandra Matviichuk (@avalaina) April 2, 2022

Nadia, her husband, two sons, and a daughter are now living safely in Lviv. They had traveled for five days to reach Lviv from Zaporizhzhia. "We're safe and we can buy food, but my son still hides food: bread, candies. He hides it in different parts of the flat where we're staying," she said.

When she asked her son what is he hiding the food for, he said: "So I'll have something to eat tomorrow."

Over a month into Russia's invasion of its neighbour, Vladimir Putin's troops have devastated cities like Mariupol with shelling, killing at least 5,000 people in the port city alone.

Thousands of people from Mariupol and surrounding areas managed to escape in a convoy of buses and private cars over the past weeks, but an estimated 160,000 people still remain in the city and are facing food and water shortage.

"We have managed to rescue 6,266 people, including 3,071 people from Mariupol," said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said that its team heading to Mariupol was not allowed into the city to carry out an evacuation on Friday llast week. The Red Cross has been trying to evacuate people from the besieged city but Russian soldiers have not been cooperating.

Driver’s dashboard camera captures moment of Mariupol shelling
IBTimes UK