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Around 300 dead in the bombing of the Mariupol theater with the inscription “Children”: Rat

About 300 Ukrainian civilians were killed in the blown up Mariupol theater used as a shelter and clearly marked “CHILDREN”, local officials said on Friday, nine days after the attack.

“Unfortunately, we start this day with bad news. Eyewitnesses reported that about 300 people died in the Mariupol Drama Theater,” the City Council of the worst-hit Ukraine city wrote on Telegram about the March 16 bombing.

“I don’t want to believe in this horror… I want to believe that everyone escaped,” the post’s author wrote.

This image, provided by the Azov Battalion, shows the drama theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, damaged after shelling
The drama theater is seen damaged after the shelling in Mariupol.
Azov battalion via AP
Drama theater shelter
More than 1,300 people had sought shelter in the building.
AZOV media
A survivor can be seen shortly after the bombing of the theater in Mariupol.
A survivor can be seen shortly after the bombing of the theater in Mariupol.
TPXA/Telegram

“But the words of those who were in the building at the time of this terrorist attack say the opposite.”

Shortly after the airstrike, Ludmyla Denisova, the Ukrainian parliament’s human rights commissioner, said more than 1,300 people took shelter in the building.

While 130 survivors were reported to have escaped, it was feared many were trapped in a bomb shelter beneath the rubble, with rescue efforts being thwarted by sustained bombardment, the council had said.

It was not immediately clear if rescue workers had finished excavating the site or how eyewitnesses arrived at the horrific death toll.

The council insisted that the invading forces were deliberately targeting the theater, which had been profiled in media reports for its role as a makeshift shelter.

Russian bombers “knew what the consequences might be, and yet the bombs fell on a place that had become a haven for hundreds of Mariupol residents,” the council wrote.

People clear debris outside a medical center that was damaged after pieces of a Russian missile shot down by Ukraine's air defenses landed on a nearby apartment block, according to Kyiv authorities
People clear debris outside a medical center that was damaged after pieces of a Russian missile shot down by Ukraine’s air defenses landed on a nearby apartment block, according to Kyiv authorities.
AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

“These 21st century fascists were not stopped by the huge inscription CHILDREN or the statements by the people themselves that there are only peaceful ones – women, children, old people,” the post reads.

“There is no explanation for this inhuman cruelty. There will never be forgiveness for those who brought destruction, pain and suffering to our home.

“We will be able to restore the buildings, but we will never get friends, neighbors, family and loved ones back,” the official wrote.

Mariupol Theater
The council insisted that the invading forces were deliberately targeting the theater.
Azov battalion via AP

The pulverized theater has “always been the city’s calling card,” the council wrote.

“In its place appeared a new pain point for the people of Mariupol, the ruins that became the last refuge for hundreds of innocent people.”

Mariupol, a city of 430,000 people, suffered many of the worst atrocities during the war, turning it “a freezing hellscape filled with dead bodies and ruined buildings,” according to Human Rights Watch.

Satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on Saturday, March 19, 2022 shows the aftermath of the airstrike on the Mariupol Drama Theater
The air raid on the Mariupol Theater can be seen on a satellite image.
Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies via AP
Ukraine map
Russia’s week-long attack on Ukraine has left thousands dead.

A week before the theater was bombed, a maternity hospital in the city was blown up, killing children and pregnant women.

Both attacks were attributed to the same senior Russian military leader, Colonel-General Oleksandra Matviichuk, dubbed the “Butcher of Mariupol.”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/25/around-300-killed-in-bombing-of-mariupol-theater-marked-children-council/ Around 300 dead in the bombing of the Mariupol theater with the inscription “Children”: Rat

JACLYN DIAZ

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