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Official: Nearly 30,000 Russian soldiers in and around Mariupol
Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, reports that within the past week, the number of Russian soldiers around the city increased by 10,000-15,000. Most of them are stationed in the villages in the Mariupol district, Andriushchenko said.
"Overall, we can talk about approximately 30,000 occupiers, concentrated in Mariupol and the region," the official wrote on Telegram.
Earlier, Andriushchenko reported that Russian construction workers have started dismantling the Azovie neighborhood of Russian-occupied Mariupol, including undamaged houses, to build “elite” homes.
In the past several months, Russia has begun bulldozing Mariupol's ruined apartment buildings, an action criticized by multiple human rights organizations that see it as an attempt to cover up war crimes. In some cases, the remains of those killed are suspected to still be inside.
Russia's brutal two-month-long siege of Mariupol left most of the 450,000-strong city in Donetsk Oblast in ruins.