Satellite images show possible mass graves in the vicinity of Mariupol

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ZAPORIZHZHIA – New satellite imagery has revealed a mass grave close to Mariupol. Local officials claim Russia buried as many as 9,000 civilians in order to hide a massacre that took place during the siege.
These images were released on Thursday hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory at the Battle of Mariupol despite the fact that around 2,000 Ukrainian fighters were still hiding in a huge steel mill. Putin instead of storming the fort, ordered his troops to close it off so that “not even a fly” can get in.
Maxar Technologies, a satellite imaging provider, released the photos. It claimed that the photos showed more than 200 mass burials. Officials in Ukraine claim that Russians are burying Mariupol victims of the fighting. The images showed rows upon rows of graves stretching from the existing cemetery at Manhus, outside Mariupol.
Vadim Boychenko, Mariupol Mayor, accused Russia of hiding their military crimes by taking civilian bodies out of the city and burying them at Manjush.
Mariupol’s city council stated in a Telegram message on Thursday that up to 9,000 people could have died in the graves.
Boychenko called Russia’s operation within the city “the New Babyar”, referring to the location of multiple Nazi Holocausts in 1941, where almost 34,000 Ukrainian Jews were murdered.
“The body was brought in by a truck, and was just thrown into the mound,” Boychenko’s assistant Peter Andryushenko stated on Telegram.
The Kremlin did not immediately respond. Three weeks ago, hundreds of civilians were killed in mass graves in Butcha.
Maxar released a statement saying that an examination of the images in his collection indicated that Manhush’s grave was excavated in February and has been expanded in recent weeks.
Mariupol was almost destroyed by the bombings for nearly two months. Russian troops have now taken control of the remaining strategic south city, including the port, which is important but has suffered serious damage.
Moscow estimates that thousands upon thousands of Ukrainian soldiers continued to work at the steel plant for weeks, despite being attacked by Russian troops and repeatedly asked for their surrender. According to Ukrainian officials, there were about 1,000 civilians trapped at the steel mill.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia repeatedly of plotting to prevent the evacuations of civilians from Mariupol.
Two Russian attackers attacked Zaporozhye on Thursday. It is the transit point for migrants fleeing Mariupol. According to the regional governor no one was hurt.
Yuri Lurak (and at least a dozen others) were two of the people who arrived in Zaporozhye when they fled the city. They lived in the basement almost for two months with the rest of the refugees. Yuriy Lulac stated that there was no water or food.
“What happened there, was horrible, you cannot describe it,” stated the native Russian speaker. She used a derogatory phrase for the Russian military, calling them, “killers in vain.”
“Mariupol has been extinguished. Lurac stated, “There are only graves or crosses in the yard.”
According to the Red Cross, 1,500 people were expected to be evacuated by bus. However, the Russians allowed only a handful of people to go and then pulled some people off the bus.
DmitriyAntipenko stated that he lived mostly in the basement, with his wife and father.
Antipenko, weeping through tears, said that there was a small graveyard in the yard.
Russia seems to prefer to wait for the fighters, if they aren’t hungry or armed enough to surrender, to withdraw troops from the Mariupol defenses.
Mariupol is believed to contain more than 100,000 people. There are no food, water, or medications and a pre-war population around 430,000. More than 20,000 people were reported to have been killed during the siege, according to Ukrainian authorities.
Because of its horrific wartime conditions, the city has attracted international attention.
Boichenko denied that Mariupol was taken into Russian hands.
“The city was, and is still Ukrainian,” he stated. “Today our brave warriors, heroes are defending the city.”
The Kremlin’s greatest victory in the Ukrainian war would be the Occupying Mariupol. This will allow Moscow to secure more coastline and complete the land bridge with Russia over the Crimea peninsula. Russia took this territory in 2014. It will also give Moscow more power to participate in the industrial hub for eastern Ukraine. Donbass.
Putin and Sergei Shoigu made a joint appearance to declare that the “liberation battle for Mariupol was won” and Shoigu was congratulated.
Shoigu predicts the Azovstal mine could be occupied in just three to four working days. Putin disagreed and said that it was “pointless”. He expressed concern about the safety of Russian troops. Therefore, he decided not to send them to clear the factory. There, die-hard defenders hide in an underground labyrinth.
Instead, the Russian leader stated that the military should “blockoff this industrial area so that no one can get in.”
The plant covers an area of ​​11 square kilometers (4 square miles) and features approximately 24 kilometers (15 miles) of tunnels and bunkers.
“Russia’s current agenda is not to occupy very hard places where these Ukrainians could hold on to the city center, sondern to try to capture territory, surround the Ukrainian army to declare a huge victory,” explained retired British Major General Chris. Parry claimed.
Russian officials have been stating for weeks that the main objective of the war is to occupy the Donbass, which is mainly Russian-speaking. This week, Moscow’s forces began a new phase of fighting along a 300-mile (480-kilometer) front from the northeastern city of Kharkiv to the Sea of ​​Azov.
According to military analysts, Russia continues to fire heavy artillery and air strikes in these areas. However, no significant progress was made in the last few days. They said that Moscow’s forces were continuing to intensify their offensive.
A senior U.S. defense officer spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the Pentagon’s assessment and said that the Ukrainians were hindering Russia’s attempts to push south from Izum.
On Thursday, rockets struck a Kharkiv neighborhood and two civilians were killed in their vehicles. As firefighters attempted to put out the flames and find those trapped, a school and a residence were also struck.
Iryna Vreshchuk (Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister) said that Russian forces had kidnapped the local official, who was on his route to the southern Kherson region. She claimed that the Russians offered her to free him in return for a Russian prisoner-of-war, but she found this unacceptable.
Vereshchuk said that attempts to establish three humanitarian corridors within the Kherson region were unsuccessful on Thursday due to Russian troops’ inability to control their firepower.
American President Joe Biden pledged $1.3 billion to Ukraine in additional weapons and economic aid. He also pledged to continue to push for more Congress funding to ensure that guns, ammunition, cash, and other resources are available.

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