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Ukraine says theatre sheltering thousands bombed by Russia

Deputy mayor says up to 2,000 people were taking refuge in the building

Ukraine has alleged that Russian forces have bombed a theatre which was being used to shelter civilians in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.

Speaking with international news outlet BBC, Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov said that some 1,000 and 1,200 people were taking shelter in the building. A local MP said that the number of casualties was unclear as the basement, where people were gathered, had withstood the bombing.

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The advisor to the city’s mayor, Petro Andriushchenko, previously stated that emergency workers were attempting to reach the building but were finding it difficult due to constant shelling.

Russian air strikes and shells earlier struck a maternity hospital, a church and apartment buildings.

In a statement, Mariupol’s city council said that Russian forces had “purposely and cynically demolished” the theatre. They said that a “plane bombed a building where hundreds of peaceful Mariupol residents were taking refuge”.

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Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, and the city council accused Russia of a “war crime” following the attack. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the bombing and said Russia had purposefully targeted the theatre.



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