The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Marúpol, Vadym Boychenko, has denounced the existence of a large mass grave in which between 3,000 and 9,000 bodies have been buried and has shown images taken from a satellite by the technology company Maxar as proof of this. .
The mayor’s complaint came shortly after the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, announced the taking of the city, which in any case is incomplete because the Azovstal steel mill remains to be occupied, where at least 2,000 Ukrainian combatants resist, completely surrounded by the Russian occupants.
The mayor of this port city that the Russians say they have completely taken over, showed these images on his Telegram account: “In the photos (taken) by Maxar on April 9, the sector of the mass grave in Mangush (in the area of Mariupol) is 20 times larger” than that of Bucha, explains the message. Boychenko argued that “the greatest war crime of the 21st century has been committed in Mariupol.
This is the new Baby Yar. Hitler then killed Jews, Roma Gypsies and Slavs. And now (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is destroying the “Ukrainians.” He has already killed tens of thousands of civilians in Mariupol. And this calls for a strong reaction from the entire civilized world. Something has to stop the genocide,” the mayor said.
The mayor had already announced on Thursday that a mass grave of about 30 meters long had been found dug by Russian troops about 20 kilometers from the city, near the town of Manhush.
With almost half a million inhabitants, Mariupol is the main port on the Sea of Azov and is key in Russian attempts to link the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk with occupied Crimea. It has been constantly bombed since almost the beginning of the Russian invasion. According to the City Council, several thousand people have died during the siege of the city, where some 100,000 people still remain without any type of basic service.
The Azovstal situation
Putin said on Thursday that he was canceling the order to storm the Azovstal steel mill on the grounds of saving lives, while maintaining the blockade of the industrial zone.
The Kremlin leader maintained that there was “no need to go into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities,” but demanded the closure of that industrial zone “so that not a single fly gets in or out.”
Ukraine has said that Russia is “physically incapable” of taking over the steelworks and the latest British intelligence report believes that Putin’s decision is intended to free up Russian forces to be deployed elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, as well as to avoid “Russian casualties”. significant”.
According to the latest report from the US Institute for the Study of War, the Russian goal is “to try to starve out the remaining Ukrainian defenders at the steel plant”, but it warns that “reducing the rate of Kremlin operations in Mariupol allow the deployment of significant combat power to support other offensive operations”.
“Part of these Russian forces will be needed for other missions, such as holding the Azovstal plant siege, securing the rest of Mariupol against any remaining pockets of Ukrainian forces, and possibly to redeploy and support Russian forces that maintain control of the southern Ukraine,” the report says.
The testimony of a defender
A Ukrainian defender at the Azovstal steelworks told the BBC that much of the facility is destroyed and there are deaths and injuries. Svyatoslav Palamar, from the Azov regiment, told the radio station from Azovstal that Ukrainian defenders had repelled waves of Russian attacks, that they had fired on the steel plant from warships and had dropped “bunker-busting” bombs. “All the buildings in the Azovstal facility are practically destroyed” and “we have wounded and dead inside the bunkers. Some civilians are trapped under the collapsed buildings,” Palamar said.