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Tally finds 300 died in Russian strike on Mariupol theater

Russia Ukraine War
Posted at 9:07 AM, Mar 25, 2022

KHARKIV, Ukraine — The government of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol says 300 people died in a Russian airstrike on March 16 on a theater being used as a bomb shelter.

The post on Friday on the city government's Telegram channel cited eyewitnesses for the toll of "about 300.

"It was not immediately clear whether emergency workers had finished excavating the site or how the eyewitnesses arrived at the horrific death toll.

Ukrainian authorities say Russian rockets struck the theater where hundreds of civilians were hiding.

Video has circulated from inside the theater that shows hundreds of Ukrainians huddled together in tight spaces earlier this month.

Video taken from the scene showed that the attack reduced parts of the building to rubble.

Soon after the airstrike, the Ukrainian Parliament's human rights commissioner said more than 1,300 people had been sheltering in the building.

When the theater was struck, an enormous inscription reading "CHILDREN" was posted outside in Russian, intended to be visible from the skies above.

Earlier this week, U.S. Sec. of State Antony Blinken made a formal determination that Russian troops have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

In a statement, Blinken listed the theater attack as among those war crimes.

The State Department says that since the start of the Russian invasion, 2,400 civilians have been killed in Mariupol.