APOCALYPTIC footage yesterday showed how Russian missiles had reduced the strategic port city of Mariupol to the “ashes of a dead land”. It revealed barely a building left undamaged by relentless shelling, with smoke drifting over the desolate landscape of a once-thriving city of 400,000 residents. Vladimir Putin’s forces have bombarded the Black Sea gateway for almost a month, targeting schools, hospitals and theatres used as shelters. Ominously, at least 100,000 residents are still there with fast diminishing supplies. Human Rights Watch described it as a “hell-scape” as convoys trying to reach the city have largely been thwarted. Local Julia Krytska, who fled with her husband and son this week, described passing piles of bodies. She said: “I want the world to know about Mariupol. “There are dead people in the streets everywhere. They can’t take them away because of the shelling.” One official warned: “It is clear that the occupiers are not interested in the city of Mariupol, they want to raze it to the ground, to reduce it to ashes of a dead land.” The Russians were also accused of using phosphorus bombs, which cause devastating burns and can lead to organ failure.