Ukraine war: New images show apparent mass graves around besieged Mariupol – as Russia claims to have taken control of the key city | World News
Newly released satellite images show what appear to be mass graves dug around the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which contains the bodies of thousands of civilians.
The grim images, taken by satellite imaging company Maxar Technologies, are said to depict more than 200 mass graves dug in long rows stretching from an existing cemetery in the town of Manhush, about 20 miles from Mariupol kilometers to the west.
Locals accuse the Russians of burying up to 9,000 civilians there – in an attempt, they say, to cover up the carnage taking place in the port city.
In a statement, Maxar said a review of previous images showed the tombs in Manhush were dug in late March but had recently been enlarged.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed victory in the biggest battle – the battle for control of Mariupol – although an estimated 2,000 intrepid Ukrainian fighters are still holed up in a sprawling steel mill.
Putin ordered his troops not to storm the stronghold, but instead blockade it “to not even a fly flew by“- and declare to the world that Mariupol has been “liberated”.
But Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko accused the Russians of “covering up military crimes” by removing the bodies of civilians from the city and burying them in Manhush.
Moscow did not respond to the statements.
But, when the mass graves and Hundreds of dead civilians found in Bucha and other towns around Kyiv after Russian troops withdrew three weeks ago, Russian officials deny their troops killed any civilians there – and accuse Ukraine of orchestrating the atrocities. .
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As the bloody conflict enters its 58th day, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, is still heavily bombarded – and Russian forces appear to have captured more than 40 villages in eastern Donetsk.
The UK Ministry of Defense said it was moving further towards Kramatorsk, also to the east, where rocket attacks continued.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a proposed ceasefire, scheduled to begin on Thursday night and for the past four days was rejected by Russia.
The pause, first initiated by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is for an “Easter humanitarian holiday” and is intended to extend the Orthodox Christian Easter period, which begins late Saturday to Sunday morning, but did not materialize.
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Meanwhile, the US pledged an additional $1.3 billion (£998 million) to provide Ukraine with new weapons and economic support.
Chairperson Joe Biden said military aid would be sent “directly to the front lines of freedom”.
The new package includes $800m (£614m) for heavy artillery, 144,000 rounds of ammunition and drones.
A total of $500m (£384m) has been set aside to pay for things like government salaries and pensions.
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But even as countries around the globe provide aid, it has emerged that it will cost around $60 billion (£46 billion) to restore all damaged buildings and infrastructure. in Ukraine during the war.
World Bank President David Malpass told a conference that initial estimates of the “narrow” cost of damage did not even include the growing economic costs of the war on Ukraine.