Ukrainian officials said Friday that about 300 people were killed when a Russian aircraft bombed a theater in the besieged city of Mariupol nine days ago. Hundreds of civilians were said to be seeking shelter from hostilities there.
Mariupol City Council quoted witnesses in providing casualties In the statement On a Telegram channel describing the March 16 bombing of the Mariupol drama theater as “inhumane atrocities.”
For days, Mariupol’s authorities were unable to provide the number of victims of the Russian attack.
Mariupol’s Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov said: BBC The day after the incident, 1,000 to 1,200 people were evacuated to the building, and local MP Dmytro Gurin told the outlet that “most” of them survived.
Russia has denied bombing the drama theater. Vasily Nevenja, UN Ambassador to the Kremlin, Told Sky News His country was not involved in the incident, claiming that “a larger information war than the battlefield was taking place,” suggesting that it was a false flag operation.
The Epoch Times could not confirm the status of the incident.
The alleged bombing was roundly criticized by Ukrainian officials, and the country’s foreign ministers, Dmytro Kuleba and Mariupol’s city council, both accused Russia of “war crimes” after the strike.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also criticized Moscow in response to the incident, saying in a video speech that “Russia’s going to the people has broken our hearts.”
A satellite image taken on March 14 and released by US company Maxar has a large Russian word next to the theater that means “children”, probably to warn of children on Russian jets. Shown that it was marked on the ground.
“The occupiers knew what they were hitting,” the Mariupol City Council said in a statement on Friday.
The city surrounded by Mariupol, the strategic port of the Sea of Azov, has seen some of the worst battles of the war. City officials and aid groups said the Russian bombing cut off Mariupol’s electricity, water and food supplies, putting residents in a desperate struggle for survival.
The scale of Mariupol’s devastation made it difficult to obtain information about casualties.
Occupying Mariupol is an important objective for the Russian side as it helps Russia establish an overpass to Crimea.