(KYIV, Ukraine) — Ukraine’s foreign minister on Monday urged the U.N. chief to press Russia for an evacuation of the besieged port of Mariupol, calling it something the world body is capable of achieving.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview he was concerned that by visiting Moscow on Tuesday before traveling to Kyiv, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres could be vulnerable to falling into a Kremlin “trap” in the war.
Kuleba said Guterres “should focus primarily on one issue: evacuation of Mariupol."
An estimated 100,000 people are trapped in the seaside city while a contingent of Ukrainian fighters holds out against Russian forces in a steel mill where hundreds of civilians also are taking shelter.
Officials in the embattled Ukrainian city say a new mass grave has been identified north of the city.
Mayor Vadym Boychenko said authorities are trying to estimate the number of victims in the grave about 6 miles north of Mariupol.
Satellite photos released over the past several days have shown what appear to be images of other mass graves.
Mariupol has been decimated by fierce fighting over the past two months. The capture of the city would deprive Ukraine of a vital port and allow Moscow to establish a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.