An extensive investigation by Amnesty International has concluded that Russian military forces committed a war crime when they deliberately struck the Mariupol drama theatre in March, killing at least dozen people and likely many more.
“In a new report, ‘Children: The Attack on the Donetsk Regional Academic Drama Theatre in Mariupol, Ukraine’, the organization documents how the Russian military likely deliberately targeted the theater despite knowing hundreds of civilians were sheltering there on 16 March, making the attack a clear war crime,” the organization reports based on the results of interviewing witnesses, studying numerous photos, as well as scientific calculations.
Amnesty International’s Crisis Response team interviewed numerous survivors and collected extensive digital evidence, concluding that the attack was almost certainly carried out by Russian fighter aircraft, which dropped two 500kg bombs that struck close to each other and detonated simultaneously. Amnesty International commissioned a physicist to build a mathematical model of the detonation, to determine the net explosive weight of the blast which would be required to cause the level of destruction seen at the theater.
“Many people were injured and killed in this merciless attack. Their deaths were likely caused by Russian forces deliberately targeting Ukrainian civilians,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
As reported, Mariupol experiences one of the biggest humanitarian disasters caused by Russia’s aggression. The city was almost completely destroyed as a result of enemy shelling. The destruction of the drama theater, sheltering hundreds of people, became one of the most tragic pages in the history of the city’s defense. Today, Mariupol has no normal power, water, and gas supplies. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, up to 22,000 civilians have died in the city. Currently, more than 100,000 residents remain in blocked Mariupol.
Russian forces have launched an air strike on warehouses with humanitarian aid in the Luhansk region.
Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, said this in a Telegram post.“An air bomb hit our warehouses with humanitarian aid. The hangars were almost destroyed and the vehicles were damaged. There are no casualties,” the statement said. Haidai said that Russian troops are trying to storm Lysychansk, fighting is continuing on the outskirts, and the city itself is under constant fire. About 15,000 civilians remain in Lysychansk. The “quiet” evacuation is ongoing, and no civilians have died during the evacuation, Haidai said.
On the morning of June 30, the Russians shelled Kryvyi Rih district of Dnipropetrovsk region, destroying a grain warehouse in Zelenodolsk and causing destruction in the center of Velyka Kostromka village.
“The enemy continues to terrorize the towns and villages of Kryvyi Rih district. In the morning, the enemy hit Zelenodolsk community several times by various weapons. In Velyka Kostromka, the village center was struck, causing destruction. In Zelenodolsk, the enemy hit an agricultural enterprise. A warehouse with 40 tonnes of grain was destroyed. The explosion caused a fire,” Valentyn Reznichenko, Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Military Administration, posted on Telegram.
According to Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov, the SSU is collecting numerous evidence that the Russian military committed a war crime intentionally.
The SSU also posted a video of the missile strike, confirming that Russian occupiers hit the shopping mall with many civilians inside.
One can also compare the satellite images of Kremenchuk before and after the missile attack.
“Hence, any Russian propaganda fictions can be refuted by facts,” the SSU stressed. As for the enterprise located nearby, according to the SSU, there were no warehouses containing military equipment. This enterprise used to manufacture asphalt mixing plants.
“Based on the logic of Russian occupiers, supermarket shelves and asphalt mixing plants pose a threat to them. The Russian army is a band of terrorists, who will surely be punished for their crimes. All evidence is now thoroughly documented,” Bakanov noted.
A reminder that, on June 27, 2022, two Russian missiles struck the city of Kremenchuk, Poltava Region. One of the missiles hit a local shopping mall with about 1,000 civilians inside.