Mariupol is the new Aleppo: French FM
Le Drian said that world needs to act immediately to help Mariupol, as the scale of the disaster in Ukraine's south-eastern city demands immediate action
French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian said "Mariupol is the new Aleppo", as he compared the largest Syrian city that witnessed some of the worst fighting in the country's brutal civil war to the besieged Ukrainian port city where ongoing Russian attacks have led to widespread destruction and civilian deaths.
Addressing the Doha Forum on Sunday, Le Drian said that world needs to act immediately to help Mariupol, as the scale of the disaster in Ukraine's south-eastern city demands immediate action, the BBC reported.
"You can very well see that Mariupol is a second Aleppo with, I hope, a collective guilt if we don't do anything.
"Mariupol is a siege war that Russia's been in for a month now. Maybe it wasn't envisaged as a siege war but today we're in siege warfare, and Mariupol is one of the most striking examples.
"Military sieges are horrible wars because civil populations are massacred, annihilated. The suffering is terrible," the BBC quoted the French Minister as saying.
Since the war began on February 24, Russia has continuously bombarded the strategic port city, triggering the relocation of thousands of civilians and reducing infrastructure to ruins.
Ukraine has also accused Moscow of forcibly moving Mariupol civilians to Russian territories, the BBC reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said 40,000 had been moved from Ukraine to Russian-held territory without any coordination with the government in Kiev.
Russia has denied the allegation.
While 140,000 civilians have managed to escape from Mariupol, another 170,000 are still trapped there, according to the city council.
Mariupol is key to Russia's ongoing invasion. If the city falls, it would give Russia control of one of Ukraine's biggest ports and create a land corridor between Crimea and the Russian-backed regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
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