Mariupol, a symbol of the human cost of war, was possibly Ukraine’s ‘deadliest place’ during April.

The southern port of Mariupol has become a powerful symbol of the number of people in the war in Ukraine, a besieged city where stranded residents have lived for weeks without electricity or water, and where people dug trenches to contain the number of bodies.

On Thursday, the United Nations’ top human rights official said that Mariupol was likely “the deadliest place in Ukraine” for the first three months of Russia’s invasion. Thousands of civilians are believed to have died there, she said.

The official Michelle Bachelet, high commissioner for human rights, giving an updated assessment of Mariupol, also said that as many as 350,000 residents fled during the siege and occupation of the Russian city, and as many as 90% of the buildings. its population. has been damaged or destroyed. Mariupol was once home to more than 400,000 people.

The Russian attack on Mariupol was seen as symbolic of the horrors of the war in Ukraine at the start of the 24 February invasion, which ended with strikes on the hospital’s midwifery department and the collapse of the hospital. A theater was bombed, where civilians sought shelter.

“The intensity and magnitude of the acts of hostility, destruction, death and injury represent a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a serious violation of human law,” Ms. Bachelet said in the assessment. international rights occurred.

So far, Bachelet said, UN investigative teams have identified 1,348 civilian deaths directly related to hostilities in Mariupol, including 70 children. “These deaths are due to air strikes, artillery fire, tanks and artillery, light weapons and small arms in street skirmishes,” she said, adding that the actual death toll The fact is that “maybe more than a thousand people”.

While investigators were unable to fact-check Russian-occupied Mariupol because of security concerns, she said, they had “speaked directly to people who left the city; communicate remotely with people staying in the city; collect and analyze public information; and by using satellite imagery. “

Bodies have been found in “improvised mass or individual graves in courtyards, streets and parks, in unattended homes and apartments,” she said. “Many people still have to be buried.”

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