“A horrible war crime.” On Twitter this Wednesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba denounced the bombardment of the Mariupol theater by the Russian army. Announced at the end of the day by the town hall of south-eastern Ukraine, the bombardment of this theater is the highlight of this 21st day of the Russian invasion.
• The remaining human toll at this undetermined stage
“The plane dropped a bomb on the building where hundreds of civilians were sheltering. It is impossible to establish the toll immediately because the bombardments of the living quarters continue”, wrote the town hall on Telegram at the end of the day.
During the night, AFP indicated that the human toll was still undetermined.
Another horrendous war crime in Mariupol. Massive Russian attack on the Drama Theater where hundreds of innocent civilians were hiding. The building is now fully ruined. Russians could not have not known this was a civilian shelter. Save Mariupol! Stop Russian war criminals! pic.twitter.com/bIQLxe7mli
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 16, 2022
At least a thousand people were inside the theater, report our colleagues from the BBC. According to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, the building was “totally destroyed.”
• Shelter for many civilians, including children
The American space technology company Maxar Technologies, which specializes in satellite imagery, published a snapshot of the Mariupol Drama Theater a few hours after the bombing on Wednesday. The snapshot was taken on Monday, according to the company.
According to the photo consulted by AFP, the word “children” was written on the ground, in huge white letters and in Russian, in front and behind the building, to signal their presence to possible fighter pilots. “The Russians couldn’t not know!” launched Dmytro Kuleba.
• Zelensky denounces a “deliberate” act
On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also accused Moscow. “The Russian air force deliberately dropped a bomb on a downtown theater,” he said in a video posted on social media.
“Hundreds of people were hiding there to escape the shelling. The building is destroyed. The number of victims is still unknown. My heart is broken.”
• Moscow denies having bombed the theater
The Russian Defense Ministry has denied bombing the theatre, blaming the Ukrainian Nationalist Azov Battalion for the explosion. Moscow had already questioned this military unit during the bombing of the Mariupol maternity ward last week, which sparked an international outcry.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.