By Natalia Zinets
LVIV, Ukraine, March 1 (Reuters) – The mayor of Ukraine’s Mariupol said on Tuesday morning that the southern port city was under constant shelling which had killed civilians and damaged infrastructure, as Russia started day six of its invasion.
“We have had residential quarters shelled for five days. They are pounding us with artillery, they are shelling us with GRADS, they are hitting us with air forces,” Vadym Boichenko said in a live broadcast on Ukrainian TV.
“We have civilian infrastructure damaged – schools, houses. There are many injured. There are women, children killed,” he said.
Ukraine’s largest steelmaker Metinvest BV METIV.UL has most of its facilities located in Mariupol where it has halted production. The company sent most workers home while reduced shifts ensured the equipment was not breaking down.
Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv also came under heavy attack, the regional administration head said on Tuesday, while an adviser to the country’s president said Russia was deliberately shelling cities to spread panic among Ukrainians.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Andrew Heavens and Edmund Blair)