Ukrainian officials said Tuesday that workers digging through the rubble of an apartment building in Mariupol have found 200 bodies, a grim reminder of the horrors still unfolding in the collapsed city that saw some of the worst suffering of the war between three men.
“The corpses found in the basement of the collapsed building are decomposing and spreading an unpleasant odor in the neighborhood,” said Petro Andryushenko, an aide to the mayor. It is unclear when it was discovered.
Perched on the Sea of Azov, Mariupol was relentlessly attacked during a months-long siege that finally ended last week after some 2,500 Ukrainian fighters abandoned a steel mill where they had held out for the last time.
A man sits on a bench near a destroyed building in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine on May 9, 2022 – Photo: REUTERS/Alexander Ermoshenko
Russian forces actually controlled the rest of the city, where about 100,000 of the pre-war 450,000 inhabitants remained, many stranded without food, water, heating, or electricity.
Ukrainian authorities said at least 21,000 people were killed and accused Russia of trying to cover up the extent of the atrocities by bringing in mobile cremation equipment. They also claimed that some of the dead were buried in mass graves. The attacks also hit a maternity hospital and a theater housing civilians.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the Russians of waging a “total war”, seeking to inflict as much death and destruction as possible on his country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos – Photo: Markus Schreiber/Associated Press
British military officials said Tuesday that Russian forces have intensified their efforts to encircle the city of Severodonetsk and its neighboring towns, the only part of the Donbass-Luhansk region still under the control of the Ukrainian government.
The British Ministry of Defense said that Russian forces had achieved “some local successes” despite heavy Ukrainian resistance in the entrenched positions, but the fall of Severodonetsk and the surrounding area could cause logistical problems for the Russians.
Residents of Kharkiv shelter at train stations – Photo: Bernat Armangue / AP
More and more people are returning to the city of Kharkiv after Russian forces withdrew to focus on the Donbass River, Galina Kolymbed, relief distribution center coordinator, told The Associated Press.
Coulimbide said the center feeds more than 1,000 people each day — a number that continues to grow. “A lot of them have young children and they spend their money on kids, so they need some nutritional support,” she said.
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