About 200 bodies found in a basement in the devastated city of Mariupol, Ukraine


Workers digging through the rubble of an apartment building in Mariupol found about 200 bodies in the basement, Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday more horrors come to light in which destroyed city that has seen some of the worst ailments of the three-month war.

The bodies were decomposing and the stench hung over the neighborhood, said Petro Andryushchenko, an aide to the mayor. He didn’t say when they were discovered, but the sheer number of casualties makes it one of the deadliest known attacks of the war.

In the meantime, heavy fighting continued in the Donbass, the eastern industrial region, who want to conquer Moscow’s armed forces. Russian troops increased their efforts to encircle and capture Sievierodonetsk and neighboring towns.

Mariupol was ruthlessly shattered during a siege that lasted almost three months ended last week after about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters leave a steel mill where they had made their stand. Russian forces were already holding the rest of the city, which is estimated to have 100,000 out of a pre-war population of 450,000, many of whom were trapped with little food, water, heat or electricity during the siege.

At least 21,000 people were killed in the siege, according to Ukrainian authorities, who have accused Russia of trying to cover up the horrors by introducing mobile cremators and burying the dead in them mass graves.

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This combination of photos from April 20, 2022, left, and photos from April 25 provided by Planet Labs shows the progression of disturbed soil at an existing cemetery near the village of Staryi Krym, Ukraine, north of Mariupol.

Planet Labs via AP

During the attack on Mariupol, Russian airstrikes hit a maternity hospital and a theater where civilians sought shelter. That’s according to an investigation by the Associated Press nearly 600 people died in the attack on the theater, twice as many as estimated by Ukrainian authorities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the Russians of waging “all-out war” and inflicting as much death and destruction on his country as possible.

“In fact, there hasn’t been a war like this on the European continent for 77 years,” Zelensky said, referring to the end of World War II.

Air raid on the Mariupol Theater in Ukraine
Debris covers the interior of the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater following a bomb attack March 16, 2022 in Mariupol, Ukraine, in an area now controlled by Russian forces, Monday April 4, 2022.

Alexei Alexandrov / AP

Moscow-backed separatists have been battling Ukrainian forces in Donbass for eight years, holding large tracts of land. Sievierodonetsk and neighboring cities are the only part of the Luhansk region of Donbass still under the control of the Ukrainian government.

Russian forces have had “some local successes” along dug-in positions despite strong Ukrainian resistance, British military authorities have said.

Moscow’s troops also took the city of Svitlodarsk and hoisted the Russian flag there, Ukrainian media reported. Svitlodarsk is located about 50 km southeast of the strategically important city of Kramatorsk.

Two senior Russian officials seemed to acknowledge that Moscow’s advance was slower than expected, despite promising that the offensive would achieve its objectives.

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A young local resident walks past a crater caused by a Russian strike in early May opposite an apartment building in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday May 21, 2022.

Francisco Seco/AP

Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council. said the Russian government is “not chasing deadlines”. And Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking at a meeting of a Russian-led security coalition of former Soviet states, said Moscow was deliberately slowing its offensive to allow residents of the encircled towns to evacuate — despite the fact that forces have repeatedly hit civilian targets.

As Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, recovers from weeks of bombing, residents formed long queues to receive flour, pasta, sugar and other basic necessities. Moscow troops withdrew from the Kharkiv area Earlier this month he retreated towards the Russian border.

Galina Kolembed, the coordinator of the aid distribution center, said more and more people were returning to the city. Kolembed said the center provides food to over 1,000 people every day, a number that is growing.

“A lot of them have young children and spend their money on the kids, so they need some help with eating,” she said.

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