Accessibility links

Breaking News

Historic Mariupol Theater, Sheltering Ukrainian Civilians, Hit By Air Strike

A historic theater in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which was being used as a bomb shelter by hundreds of civilians, was struck by Russian shelling on March 16, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

City authorities quoted by AFP said they are trying to establish the number of casualties but that they are being hampered by continued Russian shelling in nearby neighborhoods.

"Another horrendous war crime in Mariupol. Massive Russian attack on the Drama Theatre where hundreds of innocent civilians were hiding. The building is now fully ruined. Russians could not have not known this was a civilian shelter," Kuleba tweeted.

Despite ample, concrete evidence of Russian attacks on civilian areas documented by reporters, including RFE/RL correspondents on the ground, Moscow denies targeting civilian areas. The Russian Defense Ministry accused the Azov Battalion, a far-right Ukrainian militia, of blowing up the theater. It gave no evidence to back up the claim.

16x9 Image


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.