Russia bombs theater where civilians were hiding out, officials say
Ukraine’s foreign minister on Wednesday said Russia bombed a theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, where hundreds of civilians were hiding out, reducing the building to rubble.
Dmytro Kuleba tweeted around 1 p.m. that the Drama Theater had been bombed. He included before and after photos of the Drama Theater in the southeastern port city in Ukraine in the post, showing a large white building turned to rubble and ash.
Kuleba said hundreds of civilians had been using the Drama Theater as a hideout, calling the bombing of the building a “horrendous war crime.”
“The building is now fully ruined,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter. “Stop Russian war criminals!”
Roughly three weeks after Russia launched its invasion, Ukraine is putting up fierce resistance but has faced numerous casualties, with hundreds of civilians estimated to have been killed.
The besieged city of Mariupol, which Russian forces have encircled, has faced brutal attacks during the conflict. Last week, Ukrainian officials said Russia had bombed a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol.
On Sunday, city officials estimated that nearly 2,200 people had died in Mariupol in the past 24 hours.
This comes as Ukrainian and international officials have accused Russia of committing war crimes during the invasion, saying Moscow has targeted Ukrainian civilians and civilian structures. Russia has denied the charges.
“Russians could not have not known this was a civilian shelter,” Kuleba tweeted of the Mariupol theater.
Serhiy Taruta, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, said the Drama Theater was a “sanctuary” and that “many Mariupol citizens were hiding in the theater with small children” from Russian shelling.
“Share, speak up, call to save Mariupol!” Taruta wrote on Facebook. “On the other hand, we take responsibility [and a] commitment to find every pilot who dropped on Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities.”