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10-03-2022 | Latest News , Europe & Central Asia

Ukraine: audio soundbite from Mariupol “Some people still have food, but am not sure how long it will last”


The humanitarian situation in the city of Mariupol is becoming increasingly dire and desperate. Hundreds of thousands of people have no food, water, heat, electricity, or medical care. People urgently need respite from violence and humanitarian aid.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has a team in Mariupol. Our deputy head of sub-delegation Sasha Volkov describes the situation in the city. This interview was recorded by satellite phone on 09 March 2022.

Note to producers and editors: Our team in Mariupol is not available for interviews.  

Loglist – Audio only Sasha Volkov (03’27’’)

00:00  No electricity, water and gas supply. Meaning no means for heating.

00:05  Still people find ways to collect the water. The city council delivers some bottles of water to major user points, but it’s insufficient to cover. Many have no water at all for drinking.

00:25  All the shops and pharmacies were looted four to five days ago. Some people still have food but I’m not sure for how long it will last.

00:39  Many people report having no food for children,

00:44  People report varying needs in medicine. Especially for diabetes and cancer patients. But there is no way to find it any more in the city.

00:57  Hospitals are partially functioning because the city council delivers fuel. (coughing)

01:05  People started to attack each other for food.  People started to ruin someone’s car to take the gasoline out.

01:14  People are getting sick already because of the cold.

01:17  They have nowhere to go. Especially the people are often confined in small spaces.

01:25  We keep the shelter, the basement, only for children and their mother. All other adults and children above twelve they sleep in the office.

01:36  It’s really cold. We still have some fuel for generators so we have electricity for 3-4 hours a day.

01:43  We bring all the food that we have in our house. We also visited destroyed and damaged houses of our colleagues to pick up remaining food there. We will have food for a few days. We have started to get sick, many of us, because of the humidity and cold that we have. We tried to achieve hygiene standards as much as possible but not always actually possible. 

02:10  We found a way to collect some water. We still have some storage of potable water. When we run out of the stock, we will boil water from the stream. So we have comparatively good compared to others.

02:29  We have now approximately 65-66 people in our building, lets say. Plus we also give a host to half of the people who are located in the same building for their small children to sleep in the basement because people are afraid.

02:50  We try to give generator electricity to people from the street to charge their phones that they use as a flashlight at night.

03:00  So, we try to do the best we can. We also found some sort of a black market with vegetables that is working so far but you can’t find meat or something like this. We will try to buy some food and eat some vegetables.

03:17  As I said we bought firewood, which is extremely valuable, because we need to use the firewood for cooking. And this is what we try to do.

03:27  ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Crystal Wells (English), +41 77 963 7574,

Jason Straziuso (English, French), +41 79 949 3512,

Christoph Hanger (English, French, German), +41 79 731 0403,









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