RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE

Mass graves near besieged Ukrainian city Mariupol said to be evidence of war crimes

Apr 22, 2022, 6:35 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:16 pm
A satellite image from  April 3 shows what appears to be a newly dug mass grave site, next to the c...
A satellite image from April 3 shows what appears to be a newly dug mass grave site, next to the cemetery. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
(Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

(CNN) — Ukrainian officials say they have identified mass graves outside the city of Mariupol, which they say adds to mounting proof of Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians.

The claim is supported by photos collected and analyzed by U.S. satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies that appears to show more than 200 new graves at a site on the northwestern edge of Manhush, a town around 12 miles (19 kilometers) to the west of Mariupol.

An estimated 100,000 people remain trapped in Mariupol which has been under constant bombardment since it was surrounded by Russian forces on March 1, according to Ukrainian officials. Ukrainian officials claim that more than 20,000 people in the city have died during the assault.

In a post Thursday on messaging app Telegram, Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said Russian trucks had collected bodies from the port city, before “dumping them” in Manhush. “This is direct evidence of war crimes and attempts to cover them up.”

A Maxar review of the satellite images from mid-March through to mid-April indicated the expansion of the grave site began between March 23 to 26, and continued into April. According to Maxar’s analysis, there are more than 200 newly dug graves at a site on the northwestern edge of Manhush.

“According to recent media reports, Russian soldiers have been taking the bodies of people killed in Mariupol to this location,” Maxar said in its analysis.

CNN cannot independently verify claims Russians have disposed of bodies in mass graves at that location. A firm death toll following weeks of heavy bombardment of Mariupol is not available.

However, journalists in Mariupol have documented the hasty burial of civilians in the besieged city, and images have surfaced on social media showing bodies apparently left for collection in the city.

Vadym Boichenko, the mayor of Mariupol, said Thursday that women, children and elderly had died on the streets of the city.

“Unfortunately, we have seen that the bodies of dead Mariupol residents have begun to disappear from the streets of our city,” he said.

According to Boichenko, the mass graves are off a bypass road, near a cemetery. He said there was a field near the cemetery with 30 meter-long (98-feet-long) ditches.

“And there they bury them, bring the bodies of the dead by trucks and throw them into these ditches,” he said.

Putin proclaims Mariupol liberated

Evidence of mass graves outside Mariupol surfaced as Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the “liberation” of the southeastern port city by Russian forces — even as he called off an attempt to storm the Azovstal steel plant, the final bastion of Ukrainian defenders inside the city, where civilians have also sheltered.

Mariupol has been under near constant attack since the early day’s of Putin’s invasion, and much of the city has been destroyed by Russian shelling. Civilian structures targeted included a maternity hospital and a theater where up to 1,300 people were seeking refuge.

Though many have fled, an estimated 100,000 people still remain in Mariupol and its immediate surroundings, which are reported to be largely under Russian control.

Ukrainian officials, who maintain the city remains contested, have warned of a major humanitarian emergency in Mariupol as food and water run out, with electricity and gas cut — but several attempts to establish evacuation corridors to allow civilians to escape have failed.

“Unfortunately, it is not possible today to evacuate civilians from Azovstal,” Boichenko, the city’s mayor, said Thursday. “Because we are asking for a stable ceasefire. Somewhere we need one day to be able to accommodate those residents who have been hiding there for 57 days in a row, and they are being bombed, bombed and bombed.”

US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that there “was some hope that the Russians might allow” safe passage for civilians and wounded soldiers from Mariupol. However, she warned that such an arrangement “has fallen apart a number of times before” and ultimately it is up to the Russians to allow safe passage.

She also added that the siege of Mariupol speaks “to the brutality of this war” and the war crimes Vladimir Putin is committing.

Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, said earlier this month that her office is investigating 5,800 cases of alleged Russian war crimes, with “more and more” proceedings opening every day.

U.S. President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has called the atrocities being uncovered in Ukraine a “genocide.”

Russia has denied allegations of war crimes and claims its forces do not target civilians.


The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Russia invades Ukraine

Soldiers survey damage and salvage items after a projectile and subsequent fire destroyed a warehou...
FRANCESCA EBEL, Associated Press

Russian forces leave Snake Island, keep up eastern assault

Russia has pulled back its forces from a Black Sea island where they have faced relentless Ukrainian attacks, but is keeping up its push to encircle the last bulwark of Ukraine’s resistance in the eastern province of Luhansk.
16 hours ago
US President Joe Biden, speaks with Jens Stoltenberg (unseen) NATO Secretaty General at the NATO le...
DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ZEKE MILLER, Associated Press

US to boost military presence in Europe for Russia threat

President Joe Biden says the U.S. is enhancing its military presence in Europe for the long haul to bolster regional security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
2 days ago
(Ukraine State Services/Twitter)...
YURAS KARMANAU and FRANCESCA EBEL, Associated Press

Ukrainian officials say at least 2 dead as missile hits mall

Ukrainian officials say scores of civilians are feared killed or injured after a Russian rocket strike hit a crowded shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk.
4 days ago
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds the closing press conference at NATO headquarters dur...
SAMUEL PETREQUIN, Associated Press

NATO to boost rapid reaction force, Ukraine military support

NATO chief says alliance aims to boost rapid reaction force numbers from the current 40,000 to over 300,000.
4 days ago
A destroyed home in Ukraine...
Kiersten Nunez

Local nonprofit aims to fix lost homes in Ukraine

The nonprofit August Mission hopes to raise enough money to rehouse Ukrainians who lost their homes during the conflict against Russia.
5 days ago
The eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk is now "completely under Russian occupation," according...
Tim Lister, Oleksandra Ochman, Olga Voitovych and Jeevan Ravindran, CNN

Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk now ‘completely under Russian occupation’ after months of fighting

The eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk is "completely under Russian occupation," the city's head of military administration said Saturday, following months of grueling and bloody fighting.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Mass graves near besieged Ukrainian city Mariupol said to be evidence of war crimes