Hundreds of residential buildings were destroyed in Mariupol's Primorsky district since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, leaving hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians displaced.
Russia claimed its forces had almost completely seized the port town but Ukrainian defence minister disputed this claim saying the situation was "extremely" difficult but Mariupol was not under full Russian control.
Capturing Mariupol, the main port in the Donbas region, would be a strategic prize for Russia, connecting territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea region that Moscow annexed in 2014.
Currently the residents suffer from lack of water int he city, having to carry water from distant areas. Local authorities say thousands of people have been killed in the siege of Mariupol.