Ukraine: 200 bodies found in basement in Mariupol ruins

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Workers digging into the rubble of an apartment building in Mariupol have found 200 bodies in the basement, Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday, which saw some worse suffering in the dilapidated city. 3 month war.

The bodies were mutilated and the stench hung in the neighborhood, said Pedro Andriyushchenko, the mayor’s adviser. He did not do so when they were discovered, but the number of casualties was one of the war’s deadliest known attacks.

Meanwhile, fierce fighting continued in the eastern industrial area of ​​Donbas, with the aim of capturing Moscow’s forces. Russian troops intensified their efforts to encircle and capture Siverodonetsk and neighboring cities.

Mariupol was relentlessly attacked during the nearly three-month siege that ended last week About 2,500 Ukrainian fighters abandoned a steel plant that had established their position. Russian forces have already captured other parts of the city, with a population of 100,000 and a pre-war population of 450,000, many of whom were left without food, water, heat or electricity during the siege..

At least 21,000 people were killed in the siege, according to Ukrainian officials. Russia has been accused of trying to cover up the atrocities by bringing in mobile crematoria and burying the dead in mass graves.

During the attack on Mariupol, Russian airstrikes hit a maternity hospital And the Public Asylum Theater. The Associated Press’s investigation found that 600 people had died in the theater attack, more than double the number estimated by Ukrainian authorities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky has accused the Russians of waging a “total war” and trying to inflict as much death and destruction on his country as possible.

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“In fact, there has been no such war on the European continent for 77 years,” said Zhelensky, referring to the end of World War II.

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

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British military officials say Russian forces have achieved “some local victories” despite strong Ukrainian opposition to the excavations.

Ukrainian media have reported that Moscow’s troops have also captured the city of Svitlodorsk and hoisted the Russian flag there. Svitlodorsk is located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of the strategically important city of Gramadorsk.

Two top Russian officials seemed to agree that Moscow’s progress was slower than expected, although they promised that the attack would reach its targets.

Nikolai Badrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council. The Russian government said it was “not chasing the deadline.” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told a meeting of the Security Council of the former Soviet Union, led by Russia, that Moscow was slowing down its offensive to allow the evacuation of residents of the besieged cities – although the forces repeatedly attacked civilian targets.

As Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, recovers from weeks of relentless bombings, residents waited in long queues this week for flour, pasta, sugar and other groceries. Moscow’s forces withdrew from Kharkiv earlier this month and headed back to the Russian border.

According to Galina Columbate, coordinator of the Aid Distribution Center, more and more people are returning to the city. The center serves more than 1,000 people every day, and it continues to grow, Columbate said.

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“Many of them have small children and they spend their money on children, so they need some support with food,” he said.

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Becatoros report from Kramatorsk, Ukraine. Associated Press journalists in Lviv were joined by Yuras Karmanov, Andrea Rosa in Kharkiv, Donica Kirka in London and other AP staff from around the world.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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