Ukraine crisis: WHO calls for access to Mariupol

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called for humanitarian access to Ukraine’s besieged city of Mariupol and said over 90 attacks on health services had been confirmed in the war.

Speaking at a press conference in Lviv, WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge lamented that while health assistance had reached many “affected areas”, some were out of reach.

“It’s true some remain very difficult. I think a priority definitely, I think we all agree, would be Mariupol,” Kluge told reporters.

Located in a strategic southeastern spot between Russia-occupied Crimea and pro-Russian separatist regions in Ukraine’s east, Mariupol has been the scene of some of the fiercest assaults by Moscow’s forces.

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Residents have spoken of utter devastation and dire conditions. The city’s population has shrunk from 400,000 before the conflict to around 120,000 today.

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