What is known about the bombing of the Mariupol theater

The Donetsk Regional Theater in Mariupol was bombed on Wednesday, the Ukrainian authorities assure that a plane dropped a bomb on the building built in 1960. kyiv accused Moscow of having deliberately hit this civilian shelter while on the photographs of the building taken before the attack, you can see the word “children” written in large white letters on the ground in front and behind the theater. 20 minutes looks back on this attack which the mayor of the city described as “a terrible tragedy”

What is the toll of the bombing of the Mariupol theater?

At the moment, the balance sheet is uncertain and it should remain so for a while. Firstly because the city of Mariupol is besieged, deprived of water, electricity and supplies and constantly bombarded, which makes searches much more difficult for the Ukrainian emergency services. “The entrance to the shelter is blocked with debris. The information on the victims is being verified, ”said the town hall. Then, because the number of people who had taken refuge in the building is not known exactly.

Sergei Orlov, the deputy mayor of this city, whose bombing of a maternity ward has already shocked the whole world, has mentioned between 1,000 and 1,200 people to our colleagues at the BBC. The town hall reiterated this estimate overnight from Wednesday to Thursday on its Telegram account, citing “more than 1,000 civilians”. “We know that the theater housed at least 500 civilians,” said Belkis Wille, of the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW). The people killed during this strike will add to an already dramatic toll for this city in southeastern Ukraine: more than 2,000 civilians have already lost their lives, according to kyiv.

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What were the reactions?

First to have communicated on the drama, the mayor of Mariupol Vadym Boïchenko, denounced a “appalling tragedy”. “The only word to describe what happened today is genocide, the genocide of our nation, of our Ukrainian people,” he said. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called on the world to admit that “Russia has become a terrorist state”.

In Washington, responding to a journalist, US President Joe Biden said about his Russian counterpart: “He is a war criminal”. Moscow considered that these remarks were “unacceptable and unforgivable”. Questioned by France Info, the President of the European Council Charles Michel spoke of “absolute horror”. “Impunity cannot be an option. Day after day, we are horrified by these crimes that are being committed, with civilians being targeted,” he added. For the moment, Emmanuel Macron has not reacted.

What does the Kremlin say?

Moscow denies. The Russian Ministry of Defense denied the bombardment and claimed that the building had been destroyed by the Ukrainian nationalist Azov battalion. Russia had already blamed this military unit for the bombing last week of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, which had caused the death of at least three people and an international outcry. The Russian Embassy in Washington claimed it was a disinformation campaign.

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