Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Friday described the situation in the besieged city of Mariupol as the “biggest humanitarian catastrophe” since the beginning of the Russian invasion, adding that it may well be the century’s worst catastrophe.

Speaking at a press conference in Washington DC, the 46-year-old told reporters that the destruction in Mariupol would become starkly visible once the city is recaptured from the Russians.

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“We will see the terrible atrocities when it [Mariupol] will be liberated from Russians,” the Ukrainian Prime Minister said, adding that Russian troops were “absolutely destroying everything” in the city, including shelters housing civilians.

Shmyhal’s comments on the scale of the destruction in Mariupol came on the back of the release of satellite images showing mass graves in Mariupol, which, Ukraine claims, could contain as many as 9,000 bodies.

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The southern city of Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been under Russian siege since the beginning of March, a week after the start of the invasion.

With the war nearing two months now, constant shelling has left Mariupol absolutely devastated: according to Ukrainian authorities as many as 100,000 people remain trapped in the city, which has been surrounded by Russian forces since March 1.

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Ukrainian estimates also put the number of civilians killed by Russian shelling at 20,000.

The toll, however, is expected to increase in the coming days: Russian forces, since withdrawing from other regions in Ukraine, have regrouped and are concentrating on capturing the eastern Donbas region, as well as strategic areas in southern Ukraine, such as Mariupol, that would allow them control over the Sea of Azov.