PILES of unburied bodies from the Russian slaughter in Mariupol have led to a cholera outbreak, authorities in the Ukrainian city have said.
The port saw fierce fighting, in particular around the Azovstal steelworks, before it fell to Vladimir Putin’s forces, following a long siege.
The sheer number of bodies left to rot in streets and rubble of buildings are now beginning to contaminate the drink supply, an adviser to the city’s mayor has said.
Petro Andryushchenko told Radio Svboda it is “difficult to convey the reality of Mariupol regarding the bodies of the dead”.
He said there were corpse “everywhere” which can’t be stored “because the occupiers cannot cope with such an insane number”.
“There is not enough power to even bury them in mass graves," he said.
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Speaking on Ukrainian TV he said that along with rotting rubbing rubbish “all this gets into the water, into the sea, into sources of drinking water”.
“As far as we can record, we can say that the epidemic has basically begun," he said.
He added there has been a sharp increase in death in the city which has been made worse by a lack of medicines and labs that can be used to fight infection.
“It is very difficult to record the causes of death, but we know for sure that the death rate has not decreased, but rather is growing,” he said.
“All this suggests that, in fact, Mariupol has already entered the first phase of the epidemic.”
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Fears about a possible cholera outbreak in Mariupol were first raised by the World Health Organisation in mid-May as a result of severe damage to the city’s water pipes.
The Ukrainian soldiers who defended Mariupol’s steelworks for an incredible 82 days were finally evacuated around that time, leaving the city in Russian hands.
A firestorm of Russian bombs, missiles and bullets had to virtually level the once-prosperous southern port to winkle them out.
Defenders held back up to 17 of Russia’s battalion tactical groups, totalling about 20,000 troops, and stopped them moving on to take more territory.
What is cholera?
CHOLERA is the potentially deadly condition caused by drinking dirty water or eating contaminated food.
Cholera is a bacterial infection of the small intestine that is spread through dirty water and food that has been contaminated.
Once infected, people start to experience symptoms of the disease within a few days and if left untreated – it can prove fatal.
As the cholera infection attacks the small intestine, one of the most common symptoms of the condition is severe, watery, diarrhoea.
It can also cause nausea and vomiting and people also complain of experiencing stomach cramps.
It can take between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water.
If at this point the disease isn't treated, the symptoms will get worse and a person can become severely dehydrated very quickly.
Despite the condition being potentially fatal, cholera is easily treatable.
The most common treatment for cholera patients is an oral rehydration solution, which can prevent a person becoming too dehydrated.
The fall of Mariupol extended Russia’s corridor along Ukraine’s southern coast from Donbas in land occupied in the war.
As the battle raged, disturbing images show what appear to be mass graves on the outskirts of the city amid claims the Russians were committing war crimes.
The images of mass graves appeared to support claims made by Mariupol's mayor that Russian troops had dug huge trenches near Manhush and buried hundreds of dead civilians.
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Vadym Boychenko said bodies had "started disappearing from the streets" of the city and Putin’s forces were "hiding the trace of their crimes and using mass graves as one of the instruments for that".
"They are taking the bodies of the dead residents of Mariupol in trucks and throw them into those trenches," he said.
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