| 7 October 2022, Friday |

Mariupol cites witnesses suggesting 300 may have been killed in theatre bombing

According to witness accounts, as many as 300 people may have been killed in the March 16 bombing of a theatre in the besieged city of Mariupol.

The city council stated that it was still impossible to determine the exact death toll following the incident, in which a powerful Russian air strike was said to have hit the Drama Theatre, where hundreds of people had sought refuge in the encircled city.

The Ukrainian government has previously stated that it is impossible to know how many people were killed because Mariupol is in chaos and under constant bombardment from besieging Russian forces.

Russia has denied bombing the theatre. The Kremlin says Russian forces have not targeted civilians after invading Ukraine on Feb. 24.

“From witnesses comes information that about 300 people died in the Mariupol Drama Theatre as a result of the bombing by a Russian plane,” Mariupol city council said in a statement on Friday.

“Up until the very last moment, one does not want to believe this horror. But the words of those who were inside the building at the time of this terrorist act says the opposite.”

Ukrainian officials have said that about 130 people were rescued from the rubble and that the theatre basement, where local officials said many people were sheltering at the time of the bombardment, had withstood the attack.

  • Reuters