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Ukraine war: Mariupol, like Aleppo or Coventry, 'will be completely destroyed'

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
Ukrainian emergency employees work at a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol.
Ukrainian emergency employees work at a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

The last European Union diplomat to be evacuated from Mariupol says civilians there are being hit "blindly and indiscriminately".

Manolis Androulakis, Greece’s consul general, landed in Athens on Sunday.

"What I saw, I hope no one will ever see," Androulakis said as he was reunited with his family. "Mariupol will be on the list of cities in the world that have been completely destroyed by war," he added.

The Greek consul compared Mariupol's devastation to other places devastated by past conflicts such as Chechnya’s Grozny, Syria’s Aleppo, Britain’s Coventry, Spain’s Guernica, and the Soviet Union’s Leningrad, now St. Petersburg.

Androulakis left Mariupol last Tuesday, on a day when tens of thousands of people managed to flee the city, and reached Moldova three days later.

He had earlier assisted in evacuating dozens of Greek nationals and members of Ukraine’s Greek community from the city.

Androulakis urged people to “unite our voices for a ceasefire. Because at the moment civilians are being hit, blindly and indiscriminately”.

He estimated there were thousands of civilian victims in Mariupol alone.

The southern port city has been the target of heavy shelling by Russian forces for several weeks. Ukraine's deputy prime minister and defence minister have both refused Moscow's ultimatum to surrender Mariupol and have asked for a humanitarian corridor to be established as soon as possible.