Officials say 300 dead in Russian airstrike on Mariupol theater

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

Around 300 people were killed when Russia bombed a theater in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol that hundreds of people were using as a shelter, officials said on Friday, citing eyewitnesses, The Associated Press reported.

The news outlet noted that it was unclear how eyewitnesses had come to those figures or if the site had finished being excavated by emergency workers. 

A Ukrainian official said last week that over 100 people had been rescued following the Russian bombing of the theater, which had the words “children” written on either side of it.

The development comes as the Russian invasion moves into its second month, and as Mariupol has seen a number of buildings and sites struck by shelling. The southeastern city has also seen a mosque and a children’s hospital hit by Russian fire.

In the strongest U.S. rebuke of Russia yet, the Biden administration announced earlier this week that they had determined that Moscow had committed war crimes amid its invasion in Ukraine. 

“We’ve seen numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities. Russia’s forces have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping centers, and ambulances, leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday upon the administration’s announcement.

“Many of the sites Russia’s forces have hit have been clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians,” he added, noting the Mariupol maternity hospital and theater struck.

As a further way to economically isolate Russia, the U.S. and European Commission announced that they would be immediately establishing a joint Task Force on Energy Security that would help direct liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe, among other components, as a way to further reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy imports.

Tags Antony Blinken invasion Mariupol Russia sanctions theater Ukraine
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