The Battle of Mariupol – A Story of Cruelty

Satellite images show mass graves of up to 9,000 bodies near Mariupol. It is the low point in the history of a city ruled by the Russians. Horror history.

The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has been the center of Russian atrocities in the Ukraine War since the start of the war. The ruthlessness of Putin’s forces against the former city of 450,000 also has to do with its strategic importance: it is located on a central axis on Russia’s goal of “land bridge” between annexed and pro-Russian Crimea. Separatist areas of the Donbass – hence to the Russian Federation.

Although Mariupol has been under siege and heavy bombardment for weeks, 100,000 civilians are still there, according to Ukrainian sources. The human toll is high. Sub-lanes failed or were vandalized. There is a shortage of food, water and electricity. The city’s humanitarian crisis continues to deepen.

Photo series with 14 photos

But the atrocities seem to have no end: satellite images have now emerged that are said to show a mass grave in the village of Manhush, 20 kilometers from Mariupol. According to the Mariupol city administration, between 3,000 and 9,000 dead residents are said to have been buried there.

This satellite image is said to show a mass grave parallel to the road in Manush, about 20 kilometers west of Mariupol. (Source: Satellite image © 2022 Maxar Technologies / dpa)

Ukrainian media have published reports of the alleged mass graves since Thursday. They point to satellite images from the US company Maxar. The pictures show an area with mounds of dirt. The area of ​​the graves should be about 300 meters and be close to the cemetery.

Russian forces invade the city mercilessly

According to the mayor of Mariupol Vadim Boychenko, the bodies have disappeared from the streets and the city in recent days. They were taken away and taken to Manhush by trucks. “We must stop this genocide by any means possible,” Boychenko told the world on Facebook.

The so-called mass graves will be a temporary culmination of Russian atrocities in a once thriving coastal city in the south of the country. The brutality endured by the place and its inhabitants is unimaginable. The list of crimes committed by the Russians in Mariupol is long.

Horror history:

February 25: The Russian advance on the port city of Mariupol began immediately with the start of the war. First, the Russian army is trying to advance into the city with armored forces. However, the Ukrainian army initially managed to repel the attacks. Also takes part in the defense of the city: the controversial Azov Regiment, which some accuse of ultra-nationalist and far-right sentiment.

The Azov Regiment is a group that has been fighting pro-Russian separatists since the conflict in Ukraine began in 2014. (Source: imago / Ukrinform photos)The Azov Regiment is a group that has been fighting pro-Russian separatists since the conflict in Ukraine began in 2014. (Source: Ukrinform / imago photos)

March 2: Since the beginning of March, the city has increasingly become one of the most contested areas of Ukraine. Russian forces encircle Mariupol. Water, heating and electricity are off. Because of the constant and indiscriminate artillery fire, the Ukrainians also could not return supplies to the people.

The humanitarian situation is steadily deteriorating. According to a report by Doctors Without Borders, it is already difficult to find food or medicine starting from the 5th of March.

March 9: The Russian attack on a pediatric and maternity clinic in the city attracted international attention. Three people, including a child, were killed in the attack. Russia initially claims that the clinic is no longer operating and was used as a base by the Ukrainian army. However, photos and videos prove otherwise. The Ukrainians and the European Union condemn the attack as a war crime.

The Mariupol Theater was completely destroyed.  (Source: imago / SNA images)The Mariupol Theater was completely destroyed. (Source: SNA Images / imago)

March 16: Another sad climax in the city battle. Theater in the center of Mariupol destroyed in air strikes. According to Ukrainian information, about 1,000 civilians – among them many women and children – took refuge in the basement of the building. According to Ukrainian estimates, 300 of them died. Survivors trapped in shelters after the attack can only be rescued after several days. Russia denies responsibility for this attack.

March 17: Attempts to evacuate civilians from the city have repeatedly failed. Reason: non-compliance with the agreed-upon ceasefire. The warring parties once again hold each other responsible for this. In mid-March, the first successful evacuations through the escape corridor took place. Thousands of civilians get out of the city in cars with white tape. There are various statements about the exact numbers. The Russian side claimed on March 17 that 43,000 people had already fled the city. Ukraine speaks of only 2,000 refugees.

Volodymyr Zelensky: The Ukrainian president is far from giving up the port city without a fight.  (Credit: Imago / ZumaWire Images)Volodymyr Zelensky: The Ukrainian president is far from giving up the port city without a fight. (Credit: ZUMA Wire/imago Images)

April 6: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky comments on the situation in Mariupol. He accuses the Russian units of obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the city. Russia’s goal is to “hide thousands of victims”. Meanwhile, the new mayor of Mariupol, Konstantin Ivashenko, installed by pro-Russian forces, spoke about the deaths of about 5,000 civilians.

April 11: The Rear Admiral of the Ukrainian Armed Forces wrote on Facebook: “Probably the last battle today as they run out of ammunition.” The Russian army surrounded the Ukrainian fighters. Only a few hours later, Deputy Mayor Serhiy Olof vehemently opposed this. “The Russians temporarily occupied part of the city.” Orlov said Ukrainian soldiers would nonetheless defend the central and southern parts of the city. He described the post on Facebook as a mistake.

The author of the text is unknown. However, according to the newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, it should be noted that the publication was written in Russian. Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatists declared the port under their control.

April 13: The struggle for the supremacy of interpretation continues. The Russian Defense Ministry announces the surrender of more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The Ukrainian army does not agree: the fighting will continue.

April 20: The steel mills of the coastal city are still in the hands of the Ukrainians. Nevertheless, Ukrainian soldiers published a sensational appeal to help “all the leaders of the world.” In a Facebook video, commander Serhiy Volina demanded that the soldiers be removed from Mariupol and housed in a “third country”.

Civilians are trying with all their might to escape from the horror of Mariupol.  (Credit: Imago / ZumaWire Images)Civilians are trying with all their might to escape from the horror of Mariupol. (Credit: ZUMA Wire/imago Images)

He explains the seemingly hopeless situation: “The enemy outnumbers us in a ratio of 10:1.” If they are not quickly helped, the Ukrainian forces will face their “last days, if not hours”. In addition to the armed forces, about 1,000 civilians also took refuge in steel mills.

April 21: Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrates the “liberation of Mariupol”. But Putin also admits that the steel plant remains outside Russian control. However, Russian units must continue to besiege this. “Close it so that the flies cannot cross,” said the head of the Kremlin. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the plant would take “three to four days”. The besieged Ukrainians would be forced to surrender, and the storming would be meaningless.

April 22: The sad climax of the Mariupol Chronicle of Horrors will be announced on Friday. Satellite images show mass graves in a village 20 kilometers west of the coastal city. The mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boychenko, estimates that at least 20,000 people have been killed in Mariupol since the start of the war.

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