Russia has been accused of committing 'barbaric' war crimes and 'hiding evidence' after satellite images of mass grave near Mariupol were released. City's Mayor Vadym Boichenko has accused Russian army of collecting and dumping the bodies of Ukrainians in the secret mass grave.
Earlier, graphic images showed bodies and half burnt bodies lying in the streets of Bucha after Russian soldiers vacated the area.
Russian Army Collected Dead Bodies in Trucks in Mariupol
Releasing the satellite images, Maxar Technologies, a private US company, stated that it shows a mass grave site which has been that has expanded from mid-March through to mid-April. It pegged the date when the expansion of the mass grave between March 23 and 26. The site is located next to an existing cemetery in the village of Manhush, 20km (12 miles) west of the port city of Mariupol.
In a Telegram post, Boichenko claimed that as many as 9,000 civilians could be buried in the mass grave. "The greatest war crime of the 21st century has been committed in Mariupol. This is the new Babi Yar," the mayor said, referring to the site of multiple Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews in 1941. Then Hitler killed Jews, Roma and Slavs. And now Putin is destroying Ukrainians. He has already killed tens of thousands of civilians in Mariupol," he wrote. "This requires a strong reaction from the entire world. We need to stop the genocide by any means possible."
In a statement issued later, Boychenko stated that Russians were "hiding their war crimes" by dumping bodies in huge trenches dug near the village of Manhush.
Putin Claims Victory on Mariupol
On Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory on Thursday even as Ukrainian authorities claimed there were several still trapped in the Azovstal plant.
Denying claims being made by Moscow Boichenko, while speaking to The Guardian said that Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are still holed up in the steel factory. "We don't know the precise civilian figure because we haven't been able to get them out. We need a day's ceasefire for this to happen," he said.
The outlet reported that Putin has instructed the Russian military to avoid attacking the giant steel plant as "There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground." Calling for a blockade to the area, Putin said "so that a fly can't get through."