News Home » World » Ukraine says Russia strikes Mariupol theatre sheltering residents, Moscow denies attack

Around the World

Ukraine says Russia strikes Mariupol theatre sheltering residents, Moscow denies attack

Randy Mancini 11 Mar 16
A view shows Donetsk Regional Theatre of Drama destroyed by an airstrike in Mariupol
A view shows Donetsk Regional Theatre of Drama destroyed by an airstrike amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture obtained by Reuters on March 16, 2022. Press service of the Donetsk Regional Civil-Military Administration/Handout via REUTERS

March 16, 2022

LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) -Russian forces dropped a powerful bomb on a theatre in the encircled Ukrainian port city of Mariupol where hundreds of civilians were sheltering on Wednesday, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said.

The ministry said many people were trapped in the theatre and accused Russia of committing a war crime. It said the number of casualties was not yet known. Reuters could not independently verify the information.

Russia denies targeting civilians. In Moscow, the defence ministry said its forces had not struck the building and instead accused the Azov Battalion, a far-right Ukrainian militia, of blowing it up, RIA news agency said.

It did not give evidence to back up the claim. Russia had previously accused the battalion of preventing civilians from leaving the city, which has come under heavy bombardment.

Maxar Technologies, a private U.S. company, distributed satellite imagery that it said was collected on March 14 and showed the word “children” in large Russian script painted on the ground outside the red-roofed Mariupol Drama Theatre.

Maxar said it would distribute new images of the theatre as soon as it has them.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, David Ljunggren and Rami Ayyub;Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O’Brien)