regular-article-logo Friday, 29 September 2023

300 die in Russian bombing of Mariupol’s Drama Theatre

Moscow's advances in southern port city have hindered efforts to find survivors in rubble

Valerie Hopkins Published 26.03.22, 02:06 AM
The bombed theatre in Mariupol

The bombed theatre in Mariupol Twitter: @CampbellYuliya

An estimated 300 people were killed in the Russian bombing of Mariupol’s Drama Theatre, which hundreds of people had been using as a bomb shelter, local officials said on Friday.

It was unclear how officials had arrived at that estimate. Russian advances in the southern port city have hindered efforts to find survivors in the rubble since the building was largely destroyed in a Russian attack on March 16.


The city, one of Ukraine’s largest, has also been cut off from water, electricity and communications during the fighting, although Ukrainian officials have said that about 130 people were rescued from the theatre.

“Until the last moment, we want to believe that everyone managed to escape,” the City Council wrote on its Telegram channel about the building.
Russian forces struck the theatre even though the word “children” was written in large white letters on the ground at either end of the building.

“There cannot and never will be an explanation for this inhuman cruelty,” the Council wrote. “As there never will be forgiveness for those who brought devastation, pain and suffering to our home.”

Ukraine hopes some civilians who have been trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol will be able to leave in private cars on Friday, deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. Repeated attempts to arrange safe passage out of the southern port city, which is surrounded by Russian forces, have failed. Mariupol, which is normally home to about 400,000 people, has been under heavy bombardment for weeks. Civilians trapped there have been sheltering in basements.

Those who manage to leave Mariupol will find buses awaiting in the nearby city of Berdiansk which will take them to the city of Zaporizhzhia, Vereshchuk said.

“We will do everything in our power so that buses filled with Mariupol residents reach Zaporizhzhia today,” she said.
The head of the UN human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner, said that her team had not been able to obtain enough information to verify the theatre toll. “We are getting less and less information from there (Mariupol) and in that specific case we are still trying to verify the details,” she said.

New York Times News Service and Reuters

Follow us on: