A Russian airstrike on a Mariupol theater used as a bomb shelter killed almost 300 people, the city’s officials said Friday.
The attack took place on March 16, despite enormous letters spelling “children” inscribed in Russian on the ground and visible from the air.
The Post spoke to seven people who were in the Mariupol theater building in the 24 hours before it was hit in what Ukrainian authorities said was a Russian strike. https://t.co/Nxyluev7Gj
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 26, 2022
As reported by the Associated Press, “the Ukrainian Parliament’s human rights commissioner claimed about 1,300 individuals had been sheltering in the building.”
Mariupol was one of the most badly hit cities in Ukraine. To make the matter more real for his audience, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky likened Mariupol to the Italian city of Genoa on Tuesday.
— Breaking World News (@world_Breaking2) March 25, 2022
“Imagine Genoa, half a million people, decimated. Imagine a Genoa where people flee on foot or by automobile for safety. Kyiv, we value you as Rome values you.”
“It must live in peace, a constant, perpetual peace, as Rome, as well as any city on our planet, must have. Every day in Kyiv, sirens sound, bombs and missiles fall.”
“Russian troops torment, rape, destroy, and steal our goods and children. The Nazis did it last time in Europe. The Russian army has also managed to destabilize the sea near our ports, endangering our neighbors,” he added.
Russia, Zelensky argued, “would destroy more lives and families, and the battle will continue.”
“Our cities are being bombed by Russian missiles and artillery, and some of them have been practically destroyed.”
The attack is one of the events that caused the Pentagon to conclude that it considers Russia’s military guilty of genocide in Ukraine.
“Today, I can report that the US government believes Russian soldiers committed war crimes in Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.
He added, “Many of the sites struck by Russian forces were occupied by civilians. This covers the Mariupol maternity facility, as stated in a UN report dated March 11.”
“This includes a strike on a Mariupol theater with the term ‘дети’ — Russian for ‘children’ — visible from above.”
Per the Daily Wire, almost ten million Ukrainians have been displaced or become refugees. 3.3 million people left the country since the crisis began.
“Those who wage war are responsible for the suffering of citizens displaced from their homes. The war in Ukraine caused ten million people to flee, either internally or as refugees,” declared UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi.
The White House announced on Thursday the US will accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
In addition to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, the Biden administration said it plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and other people fleeing Russia’s actions through the full range of legal options.
“We are aiming to extend and develop additional initiatives aimed at embracing Ukrainians with family in the US.”
“In addition to these efforts, the United States and the European Union are collaborating closely to provide much-needed assistance to Ukraine’s neighbors,” the statement said.