About 300 people sheltering in the theater of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol were killed in the Russian shelling on March 16, local authorities said Friday, based on the testimonies of survivors.
“There is information from eyewitnesses that around 300 people died in the Mariupol Drama Theater as a result of the bombing by a Russian aircraft,” the city council of the city, encircled by Russian forces, announced on its Telegram channel.
“We wanted to believe until the end that everyone managed to save themselves. But the words of those who were inside the building at the time of the terrorist attack say otherwise,” the message continues.
Some 130 people were rescued alive from the bomb shelter built under the port city’s theater, Ukrainian parliament’s human rights commissioner Liudmyla Denisova reported last week.
According to Ukrainian authorities, the basement of the theater used to shelter between 1,000 and 2,000 people, but they have not been able to determine the number of people inside at the time of the shelling.
Therefore, the number of those who may still be buried under the rubble is unknown.
Russian troops now control the eastern part of the city, which has been devastated by the fighting and where some 100,000 inhabitants remain encircled without water, electricity, and basic supplies such as food or medicine.