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Finding people willing to speak to me from Mariupol was never going to be easy.

After 10 months of Russian occupation, fear and distrust are the two most frequent responses I encountered when looking for someone who could tell me how things really are in Mariupol, in Ukraine’s south-east.

“I think you are a Russian journalist. You won’t like what I’ve got to say. People like you kill if you tell them the truth,” said one social media user who claimed to be from the port city.

Russian forces put the people of Mariupol through a horrific months-long siege, before finally capturing it last May.

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