Those who bore witness “saw bodies, remains of bodies. And that’s how we can try to reconstruct. But the truth is that we will never know the truth. We will never get the final figure. And what is more or horrifying for me is that we will never know the whole names,” said Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty’s director general for Ukraine.
Evidence suggests twin Russian airstrikes deliberately targeted a theater being used as a shelter in the besieged city of Mariupol, the rights group Amnesty International said in a report released Thursday, AP reports.
The report condemned the attack as a war crime. Amnesty said there was no evidence that the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater was a base of operations for Ukrainian soldiers and every indication that it was a haven for civilians seeking protection from weeks of relentless shellings and airstrikes.
The March 16 airstrike devastated the building, collapsing its rear and side walls directly onto a field kitchen used as a community gathering space for food, water and scarce news about evacuations and the war.
City officials initially estimated around 300 dead. An Associated Press investigation found the attack may have killed closer to 600 people inside and outside the building. Most of the two dozen survivors and witnesses AP interviewed put the number even higher.
© Copyright LaPresse