The first civilian evacuees from the battered Mariupol steelworks complex where Ukrainian fighters have made a last stand against Russian forces arrived Tuesday in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia.
Last month, Russia declared victory over Mariupol, even as a contingent of Ukrainian troops held out at the plant and refused Moscow’s demand that they lay down their arms. Russian forces now control most of the city, a strategic seaside hub with a prewar population of roughly 450,000.
Officials in Ukraine say that up to 20,000 civilians in Mariupol may have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion in February.
Here’s what to know about the siege of Mariupol — and the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding there now.