Thousands queue for humanitarian aid in besieged Mariupol.

Drone footage filmed on Tuesday shows Mariupol residents waiting in long queues for humanitarian aid from Russia outside a former shopping centre.

The southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol, once a city of 400,000 people, has been almost completely flattened by prolonged Russian bombardment aimed at breaking the resistance of the city's Ukrainian defenders.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been hiding in basements with no running water, food, medicine or power, unable or unwilling to leave. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has said there was "nothing left" of the city.

Russia's Defence Ministry has blamed "Ukrainian nationalists" for what it called the "humanitarian catastrophe" in Mariupol.

The ministry said on Tuesday that its forces would "liberate" Mariupol from Ukrainian "nationalists," the RIA news agency reported.

Another agency, Interfax, quoted the ministry as saying that the Russian side had proposed that Ukrainian forces leave the city but they refused to do so.

People are still only able to flee the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol on foot or by private car as efforts to organize mass evacuations by bus to safer parts of Ukraine have failed, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Buses cannot reach the first part of the evacuation route from Mariupol, which is "nearly 80 km (50 miles) - people have to either walk or find a way to make this journey in a private car," she said on national television.

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