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Civilian mortality from natural causes in the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol is on the rise and has surpassed 400 people per week, according to the Ukrainian military's National Resistance Center.
This is at least 2.6 times higher than the peak of COVID-19-related deaths. The city's medical system is "practically non-functional," as the Russian forces have apparently redirected most healthcare facilities to serve injured Russian military personnel.
Mariupol had a population of half a million people before the war and was home to the Azovstal steel plant, one of Europe’s largest, where Ukrainian fighters held out for weeks in underground tunnels and bunkers before being forced to surrender.
Ukrainian military reported based on the information from local partisans, that civilians in Mariupol are unable to receive basic medical assistance. However, medical workers who remain loyal to Ukraine are attempting to provide services to civilians without Russian passports, despite strict prohibitions and physical threats imposed by the Russian forces.
According to UN estimates, 90% of residential buildings in Mariupol were damaged or destroyed, and 350,000 people were forced to leave after Russia attacked in February 2022.