Mariupol air raid: Amnesty: Theater bombing was a war crime

On March 16, Russian troops bomb the theater of the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Mariupol air raid: Amnesty: Theater bombing was a war crime

On March 16, Russian troops bomb the theater of the besieged port city of Mariupol. It is unclear how many people are in the building at this time, authorities assume several hundred. Amnesty International is investigating the attack and comes to a clear conclusion.

Amnesty International has classified the air strike on the Mariupol theater in March as a war crime by Russian forces. According to the human rights organization, it collected evidence for a good three months and has now submitted a report on it. Also included are testimonies from 52 survivors and witnesses, 28 of whom were in or near the theater at the time of the March 16 attack.

"The attack on the theater in Mariupol is a war crime by Russian troops," said Julia Duchrow of Amnesty International Germany. The International Criminal Court must deal with and investigate the attack accordingly. All those responsible must be held accountable, Duchrow demanded. Most likely, two 500-kilo bombs were dropped, although the theater was clearly recognizable as a civilian object. Residents of the embattled Ukrainian port city had sought shelter in the theater.

According to the report, Amnesty International determined that at least 12 people were killed in the attack and "many others" were seriously injured. The reported minimum number of casualties is lower than previous estimates because large numbers of people left the theater in the days leading up to the attack - and most of those who remained there sought refuge in the theater's basement or in other parts of the building untouched by the full had been hit by the force of the explosion. According to previous media estimates and research, several hundred civilians may have been killed in the theater.

The strategically important coastal city of Mariupol was besieged for weeks after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and has been under the control of the Russian military since mid-May. It is feared that thousands of civilians in the city were killed by the numerous Russian airstrikes during the siege.

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