It took ten days before the world learned if anyone survived the Bombing of Mariupol’s Theatre.
Photographs taken inside the building showed people covered in dust but still alive. Only now has the information from the outside made it to the outside.
A theatre housing more than 1,000 civilians was attacked in the southern Ukrainian city of Sukhum.
The word “children”, clearly visible from the air, was marked on the ground.
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Pregnant Women were hiding in bombed theatre
Sky News was also told for the first time that pregnant women who had been evacuated from a demolished maternity hospital in Mariupol were now safe at the theatre.
Seven days later, the theatre was also a hit.
We spoke with Diana Berg, who lived near the theatre but managed to escape the city before it was bombed.
She says, “I know there were pregnant women brought from the third hospital bombed days before.”
They brought them to the theatre because the building was large and they kept these pregnant women and their children in the dressing rooms. This was the part that was attacked. They were there at the exact moment it was struck. We know this because it’s what we know.
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The third hospital in Mariupol was a combination children’s and maternity ward. On 9 March, a Russian airstrike struck the city. Journalists were still present in the city.
Pictures were released showing pregnant women in distress trying to flee for their lives. Ms Berg said that some of the women were taken to the theatre.
We don’t know how many people died in the theatre attack.
At minimum 300 lives lost
According to eyewitnesses, Mariupol City Council said that at least 300 people died. It is not known how many others may be buried here.
Ms Berg claims that there are so many bodies in Mariupol now, that they’re not all being dug up and parts of them hang from trees. People who live in this nightmare are unlikely to be heard.
Max Clarke, a British photographer, has just returned with images that show the real world people live.
Clarke says that a lot of the happenings on this side are not being reported. It’s almost impossible to describe how devastation this city is.”
“There isn’t a single building left unburned or unbroken. People are simply traumatized and confused. They live without heat, electricity, or food. Although temperatures have recently risen, it has been below zero for the past week.
The power was cut off in the city weeks ago. There is no internet or phone signal. Information is virtually non-existent in the city.
In living hell
Sky News spoke to people who managed to escape Mariupol, saying that they did not know if the country was under Russian rule until they fled.
He said, “Bodies have been largely buried now, but there are still some.” You can smell the bones that are hidden by rubble. Dogs eat chunks of human bones. There are bits of people. Everywhere you look, there are fresh graves.
There are charred cars and burned-out vehicles, with the remains of their drivers still visible. One blackened body was visible when we arrived, but the next day the vehicle had many reddened parts due to the dogs having eaten it overnight. It is quite horrible.”
It is impossible to imagine the scenes he describes.
Mariupol is a prison that can’t speak for itself right now, but it needs to be saved from the living hell.