The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, which is located about halfway between Kyiv and the Russian border, said the population has more than halved since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking during a virtual press briefing Saturday, Mayor Vladyslav Atroshenko said 120,000 to 130,000 residents remain in the city, compared to around 290,000 prior to Russia’s invasion, adding that the “the city is surrounded.”
Atroshenko said that Russian forces “consciously destroyed the only bridge connecting Chernihiv with a southern highway towards Kyiv.”
Atroshenko was referring to Russian warplanes destroying a key bridge on March 23, one of the last remaining routes linking it with other Ukrainian-held territory.
The mayor said there are currently no evacuation corridors or “any safe way to bring or supplies, aid or wounded in or out.”
Atroshenko’s remarks come as the city attempts to evacuate 44 people who have been severely wounded. Most are military-related, but the figure also comprises civilians, including three children, he said.
Atroshenko said there have been direct hits on hospitals, including Chernihiv District Hospital, which has been “destroyed.” Electricity and water supplies have also been impacted, with water being delivered by volunteers.
Chernihiv has seen some of the most intense shelling since Russia invaded Ukraine just more than four weeks ago.
Among the more recent deadly attacks on March 16 was on a line of people in line for bread, in which officials said at least 10 people died.