Kyiv, March 20: Thousands of Mariupol residents who managed to escape from Russian bombs are starving to death in occupied Manhushi and Melekin.

The Head of Donetsk Military-Civil Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko claimed on Sunday said that the Russian occupying forces are refusing to provide food, water and safe passage.

"Head of Donetsk Military-Civil Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said thousands of Mariupol residents who managed to escape from Russian bombs are starving to death in occupied Manhushi and Melekin. Russian occupying forces refuse to provide food, water and safe passage," tweeted The Kyiv Independent. The besieged city of Mariupol is under almost constant bombardment, according to a major in Ukraine's army, and residents are  rationing food and water as bodies are left in the streets.

There are also conflicting reports over the status of one of Ukraine's key industrial facilities, the Azov steel plant, in Mariupol. New satellite imagery shows the destruction of the city's bombed theatre, with the word "children" clearly visible on the outside of the building, reported CNN. Meanwhile, the Mariupol City Council claimed that residents of Mariupol, Ukraine, are being taken to Russian territory against their will by Russian forces. Most Boring Person in the World Likes Watching TV and Lives in a Town, Reveals Research.

"Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents have been taken to Russian territory. The occupiers illegally took people from the Livoberezhny district and from the shelter in the sports club building, where more than a thousand people (mostly women and children) were hiding from the constant bombing," read a statement from the Mariupol City Council.

Captured Mariupol residents were taken to camps where Russian forces checked their phones and documents, the city council said, and then were redirected to remote Russian cities. The statement quoted Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko, who said, "What the occupiers are doing today is familiar to the older generation, who saw the horrific events of World War II, when the Nazis forcibly captured people."

"It is hard to imagine that in the 21st-century people can be forcibly taken to another country," he added. Further, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as violating international law that bans the use of force and undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Eastern European country, reported Kyodo News.

The ministers agreed to closely cooperate in maintaining the international order, Hayashi said at a joint press conference with Cavusoglu after their talks in Antalya, southwestern Turkey, demanding that Russian President Vladimir Putin halt the illegal acts in Ukraine. "It is important that the international community respond to Russia in unison," Hayashi said.

The meeting came as Tokyo has been ramping up pressure on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine through economic sanctions in lockstep with the United States and other members of the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

Turkey, however, has opposed sanctions against Russia, although President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Moscow's aggression in its neighbour "unacceptable." Russia-Ukraine War Latest Updates: Zelenskyy Says It is Time for Meaningful Security Talks; Dead Buildings Tower Over Uncollected Corpses in Mariupol.

Hayashi is on a four-day, two-nation tour through Monday that will also take him to the United Arab Emirates where he plans to meet his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday, according to the Foreign Ministry.

In the wake of Russia's attack on Ukraine, Japan has been stepping up diplomacy, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visiting India and Cambodia this weekend for meetings with their leaders, reported Kyodo News.

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