Trending

Russian troops in Mariupol making Ukrainians dig mass graves in exchange for food, water, mayor says

Business Insider US
A view of the destruction in Ukraine's besieged port city of Mariupol. Leon Klein/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A view of the destruction in Ukraine's besieged port city of Mariupol. Leon Klein/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • A third mass grave was discovered outside the besieged city of Mariupol, the city's mayor said.
  • Russian forces are also enlisting locals to dig the graves in return for food and water, Vadym Boychenko said..
  • The destroyed city has been cut off from electricity, water, and communication for weeks.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Russian forces in Mariupol are making local Ukrainians dig mass graves in exchange for food and water, the city's mayor said on Tuesday.

Mariupol's city council said in a Telegram post that a third mass grave was recently discovered near the port city, which has been besieged and under aerial attacks by Russian forces for weeks.

The post included satellite pictures that appear to show the burial site in the Russian-occupied village of Stary Krym, located around eight kilometres from Mariupol. The images were captured by the US imaging company Planet Labs and first reported by Radio Free Europe. 

"We know about these mass graves because these fascists — I have no other words — are enlisting local people for burial for food," Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said in a statement posted on the city council's Telegram.

"They told us that it is necessary to 'work hard' to give you food and water," he added. "Now Mariupol does not have enough humanitarian aid so people are forced to do it."

Insider could not independently verify Boychenko's claims.

Two other mass graves were found last week in the eastern village of Vynohradne and in the western town of Manhush, satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies show. Combined, those two graves can hold as many as 9,000 people, the city council said in a Telegram post last week.

Mariupol has been one of Ukraine's worst-hit areas since Russian troops invaded on February 24. For weeks, the port city has been cut off from electricity, water, and communication.

Capturing Mariupol would effectively give Russia control over the land route from Russian-controlled Crimea and the eastern Donbas region.

Boychenko said that more than 20,000 Mariupol residents had been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to CNN.

Last week Russian forces stormed a steel plant in the city where hundreds of Ukrainian troops and civilians, including children, had been sheltering.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously warned that negotiations with Russia could end if it kills Mariupol's remaining fighters. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that it is targetting civilians.

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.


Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
16.64
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.14
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.02
-0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.60
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.2%
Gold
1,792.97
+0.2%
Silver
20.61
-0.3%
Palladium
2,220.13
-1.0%
Platinum
942.68
-0.3%
Brent Crude
96.65
+1.8%
Top 40
63,771
0.0%
All Share
70,266
0.0%
Resource 10
65,045
0.0%
Industrial 25
85,829
0.0%
Financial 15
15,741
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo