Almost fully destroyed by the Russians, Mariupol has been under occupation for a year. The Ukrainian information space receives little reports about the life of its inhabitants and the functioning of the infrastructure. However, we can see that Russia is trying to paint a picture of the “reconstruction” in the city. On the bones.

How Mariupol lives and breathes, and why the invaders invest in the reconstruction of the destroyed city and create conditions for Russians to move into the occupied territory — Civil Network OPORA was looking for answers to these questions.

How Many People Were Killed And How Many Remained in Mariupol

Mariupol is a Ukrainian city that suffered by far the greatest destruction at the very beginning of the Russian aggression. As in the case of Izium, Severodonetsk, Bakhmut and other cities, in February-May 2022, in Mariupol the occupiers used their favorite “scorched earth tactics.” It is about seizing the settlement at any cost, even through the deliberate destruction of critical infrastructure and residential buildings.

In the end, the city that has been actively developing for the past eight years before the full-scale war and became a “showcase for the restoration of Donbas”, was almost fully destroyed.

Now, it is hard to definitively say how many people stay in Mariupol. Before the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion, almost 430,000 people used to live here. Now, according to the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko, there are about 90,000 residents left in the city, of whom 65,000 are pensioners. Others either either became refugees (about 350,000 people), or were killed.

Petro Andryushchenko says that no one knows the precise number of those killed during the Russian assault. According to the Mariupol City Council, since the beginning of the occupation, at least 25,000 people have been buried in the identified cemeteries and mass graves.

Earlier, journalist Natalia Dedova (a wife of Viktor Dedov who was killed in Mariupol in March 2022) said that as of August 2022, the temporarily occupied Mariupol had data on 87,000 dead, who at the time of death had a passport or any kind of certificate.

However, according to Andryushchenko, the real number of victims can be found out only after the city’s de-occupation. The scale of the catastrophe in the city is not yet fully comprehended. Now we are traumatized and continue to suffer inhuman blows from the aggressor.

How Much Housing Survived And Where People Now Live In Mariupol

According to the mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boychenko, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russian invaders have damaged 2,208 apartment buildings. Of these, 50% (which is more than 1,100 houses) were destroyed. “Now they are demolishing them, leaving pits and piles of stones. 282 high-rise buildings have already been dismantled, and the occupiers plan to demolish about 700 houses,” said the mayor.

Petro Andryushchenko says that the occupiers started a special register of houses subject to demolition. It included 956 buildings. It is approximately 43% of the housing stock. “But the Russians have now stopped the dismantling on a global scale, compared to what it used to be before. Initially, they demolished about one high-rise building per day, and now the pace has slowed down. Now they demolish one house a week,” says Andryushchenko.