Amnesty International: Russian military likely deliberately targeted Mariupol drama theatre

Amnesty International: Russian military likely deliberately targeted Mariupol drama theatre

An extensive investigation by Amnesty International has concluded that Russian military forces committed a war crime when they deliberately struck the Mariupol drama theatre in March, killing at least dozen people and likely many more.

“In a new report, ‘Children: The Attack on the Donetsk Regional Academic Drama Theatre in Mariupol, Ukraine’, the organization documents how the Russian military likely deliberately targeted the theatre despite knowing hundreds of civilians were sheltering there on 16 March, making the attack a clear war crime,” the organization reports based on the results of interviewing witnesses, studying numerous photos, as well as scientific calculations.

Amnesty International’s Crisis Response team interviewed numerous survivors and collected extensive digital evidence, concluding that the attack was almost certainly carried out by Russian fighter aircraft, which dropped two 500kg bombs that struck close to each other and detonated simultaneously.

Amnesty International commissioned a physicist to build a mathematical model of the detonation, to determine the net explosive weight of the blast which would be required to cause the level of destruction seen at the theatre.

“Many people were injured and killed in this merciless attack. Their deaths were likely caused by Russian forces deliberately targeting Ukrainian civilians,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

As reported, Mariupol experiences one of the biggest humanitarian disasters caused by Russia's aggression. The city was almost completely destroyed as a result of enemy shelling. The destruction of the drama theater, sheltering hundreds of people, became one of the most tragic pages in the history of the city's defense.

Today, Mariupol has no normal power, water, and gas supplies. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, up to 22,000 civilians have died in the city. Currently, more than 100,000 residents remain in blocked Mariupol.


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