Ukrainian theatre safeguarding numerous females and kids bombed by Putin

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    Ukrainian theatre sheltering hundreds of women and children bombed by Putin

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    Satellite images reveals the word ‘children’ was composed in Russian in big white letters in front of and behind the theatre structure

    Russia has dropped a ‘highly explosive’ bomb on a theatre in southern Ukraine where hundreds of civilians were hiding from shelling, according to local officials.

    Mariupol’s deputy mayor, Serhiy Orlov, said between 1,000 and 1,200 people were in the building at the time of the attack.

    It is not clear if there have been any fatalities. Mariupol City Council said it was impossible to asses the damage or search for survivors underneath the rubble due to ongoing Russian strikes.

    A harrowing image shared by the local authority on Telegram shows the drama centre is almost completely destroyed, with huge plumes of smoke rising from the ruins.

    ‘This is exactly what the Mariupol Drama Theater looks like now,’ officials said.

    ‘The building, which in a peaceful life was a center of cultural spirit of the city, and in wartime became a refuge for hundreds of women and children.’

    Mariupol theatre had become a place of refuge for women and children
    The building has collapsed in the bombing

    Satellite image taken by Maxar Technologies reveals the theatre on March 14 prior to the attack.

    Spelt out on the ground is the Russian word for ‘children’, which demonstrates how it was plainly recognized for days that individuals were safeguarding in it.

    Ukraine’s foreign minister condemned the attack as ‘another horrendous war crime’ as he shared an effective prior to and after picture of the structure.

    ‘Massive Russian attack on the Drama Theater where hundreds of innocent civilians were hiding,’ Dmytro Kuleba stated.

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    A satellite image programs Mariupol Drama Theatre prior to the battle, with the world ‘children’ composed in big white letters on either side (Picture: Reuters)

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    Mariupol City Council said it was currently ‘impossible to assess the scale of this terrible and inhuman act, because shelling of residential areas continues in the city’.

    They said that after the Russian bombing, the central part of the theatre collapsed and debris blocked the entrance to the bomb shelter located inside the building.

    MP of the Batkivschyna faction, Serhiy Taruta, reported that fierce battles were going on in the besieged port city, and no one could get to the rubble.

    The politician said: ‘We don’t know if there are survivors. And the worst thing is that we can’t get them out of the rubble.’

    Dmytro Kuleba @DmytroKuleba 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!

    A before and after photo showing the destruction at Mariupol Drama Theatre

    He said many Mariupol residents were hiding in the theater with small children.

    ‘We undertake an obligation. To the dead and survivors of the Russian bombing. The obligation to find every pilot who drops bombs on Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities. We will find everyone,’ he added.

    The incident has also been reported on by Ukraine’s state communication channel, SSSCIP Ukraine.

    It tweeted: ‘The Russians dropped a highly explosive bomb just in the heart of Mariupol – Drama Theatre. There were a lot of citizens in there hiding from the shelling, the number of the dead under the rubble remains unknown.’

    ro Andruishchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said the theatre was the city’s largest shelter ‘in number and size’. 

    He told CNN: ‘More than a thousand people were hiding there but the probability of getting there to dismantle the rubble is low due to constant shelling and bombing of the city.’ 

    Hours after news of the destruction emerged, the Russian defence ministry denied it had carried out an air strike against the theatre, the RIA news agency reported.

    It accused the Azov Battalion, a far-right Ukrainian militia, of blowing it up, though offered no evidence to back this up. Russian authorities have repeatedly insisted that their forces are only targeting strategic military locations, but there have been many attacks on residential areas.

    Russia’s airstrikes and shells have previously hit a maternity hospital, a church and apartment towers.

    Mariupol, a key strategic city on the Russia-Crimea land route, has been encircled by Russian troops for days and has been the site of constant bombardment.

    Yesterday officials said Putin’s troops are holding hundreds of patients and staff hostage in an intensive care hospital in Mariupol.

    It comes after a maternity and children’s hospital was destroyed in Russian bombing, killing a pregnant woman and her baby and a six-year-old girl.

    Last week, Moscow also shelled a Mosque in Mariupol with 80 children sheltering inside.

    The city is running out of food, water and medicine in scenes described by charities as ‘apocalyptic’.

    A view shows cars and a building of a hospital destroyed by an aviation strike amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022. Press service of the National Police of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

    A children’s hospital in Mariupol that was bombed by Russia (Picture: Reuters)
    This woman and her baby died after Russia bombed the maternity ward (Picture: AP)

    Efforts to evacuate citizens have repeatedly been hampered by Russian attacks.

    In a separate incident today, a convoy of civilians trying to leave the city was hit by rockets fired by Russian forces, according to Ukraine’s army.

    In a Facebook post, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said people were fleeing to the city of Zaporizhzhya, more than 200 km to the north-east of Mariupol, when they were targeted.

    It is not clear if anyone was killed. The Zaporizhzhya local government said that at least five people were injured, including a child who is in a serious condition.

    Nato is continuing to rule out Ukraine’s demand for a no-fly zone, but US President Joe Biden has announced $800million more in security assistance to Ukraine.

    As well as Mariupol, capital city Kyiv and Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv has come under sustained shelling, with devastating images showing what daily life has become for the people left behind.

    More than 3 million people have fled Ukraine, in the largest refugee crisis on Europe’s shores since World War II.

    Peace negotiations are ongoing, with Ukrainian officials saying today that they believe a deal could be reached within weeks as Putin’s demands are becoming more ‘reasonable’.

    However, there has been less optimism from the Russian side, and Moscow is continuing to pound Ukraine’s cities with deadly air strikes.

    The World Health Organisation warned today that health facilities are now becoming ‘targets’ in modern war, with 43 attacks recorded in Ukraine in the last three weeks of fighting.

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