While Mariupol, one of Ukraine’s port cities, was destroyed by Russian artillery, hundreds of civilians, mainly women and children, evacuated to coastal theaters. The theater building was also hit by the bombardment on March 16. In addition, those who evacuated to the garden wrote “CHILD” in Russian, which can be seen from the sky.
It is not yet known how many people were killed in the attack. The BBC talked to some of the survivors of what happened inside during the explosion. In this way, the details of the nightmare moment that scared the reader were revealed.
Russian planes were floating above the city all morning.
“CHILD” was written in Russian in the theater yard to make it clear that he was an internal civilian and was not bombed.class = “medianet-inline-adv”>
Maria Rodionova, a 27-year-old teacher, left the house on the 9th floor of the apartment, lived in a theater, and evacuated with her two dogs for 10 days. They were sitting next to the stage in the conference room behind the building.
That morning he was buying fish scraps from the outside field kitchen to feed the dogs, but for some time he noticed that he wasn’t watering them. Around 10 o’clock, I put the dog inside, tied it to my suitcase, and headed for the front door. From there people started lining up hot water.
That was when the bomb fell.
I felt shaking in a big explosion like thunder. This was followed by the sound of breaking the windows. The man behind her came and slammed her against the wall, protecting her Maria with her own body. During the explosion, there was a loud noise that hurt her ears, thinking that her eardrum had ruptured. Then he realized he could still hear when he heard people screaming.
With the power of the explosion, another man flew towards the window and then fell to the ground. His face was covered with glass. A woman with her head injury was trying to help her. Maria, who works as a volunteer at the Ukrainian Red Cross in Maruipol, called out to her at her gathering and told her to wait.
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Another horrific war crime in Mariupol. A large Russian attack on a drama theater where hundreds of innocent civilians were hiding. The building was completely destroyed. The Russians would not have known that this was a private shelter. Save Mariupol! Stop Russian war criminals! pic.twitter.com/bIQLxe7mli
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 16, 2022
Calling a 5-year-old child
I remember telling her, “Wait. Don’t touch. I’ll get a first aid kit and take care of both you and you.” However, the first aid kit was left in the theater and that part of the building had collapsed. “I could only see the debris and couldn’t get in. I couldn’t do anything for two hours. I just stood there. I was shocked,” he says.
Vladislav, a 27-year-old key maker who spoke without revealing the family name, also came to the building that morning. He wanted to check out his friends who were staying there. He was near the front door of the building when the explosion occurred. He immediately rushed to the basement with the people around him and heard the building burning 10 minutes later. He was in the midst of complete turmoil when he came out.
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Many were injured and smeared with blood. I saw some of the fractures:
“My mother was looking for a child under the rubble. A 5-year-old boy “I don’t want to die” She was screaming. She was sad, “she said.
Before and after the destroyed theater
The Mackenzie Intelligence Service is reviewing the BBC and believes that a single bombing is likely to have destroyed the theater that morning.
A report from a London-based research organization conducting intelligence activities includes the following statement:
“I think it was a laser-guided bomb because the rocket looked like it had fallen in the middle of the building. It may have been the KAB-500 bomb used for the airstrike or a similar bomb. Explosion due to its characteristics. As for, I understand that there was an explosive device that explodes instantly, so it didn’t affect the basement floor. “
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The fact that it was shot in the middle of the building indicates that the theater building may have been specifically targeted.
In the satellite image of the theater before the attack released by Maxar Inc. of the United States, you can see that the word “children” is written on the lawn on both sides of the building and it can be easily seen from the sky.
Russia denies reports of attacking theaters.. It also denies targeting Ukrainian private territories, but has been recorded to have hit numerous homes and non-military installations in many parts of the country, the cruelest Mariupol’s.
Mariupol’s investigative journalist Andrey Marsov visited the theater two days before the attack.
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Marsov, who is also the former head of the Ukraine desk at Transparency International. “Everyone knew that this was a place with many women and children. There were only civilians here.” To tell.
Around 06:00 on Wednesday, the day of the bombing, Marsov was climbing to the top of his building to overlook the city. The plane was still flying around. It was clear that a Russian plane bombed the area along the Sea of Azov where the theater was located.
“I saw the city center in flames, and there was a constant explosion.” To tell.
Maria also heard an airplane flying near the theater early that morning dropping bombs elsewhere. But he was now accustomed to the sights and sounds of military aircraft.
Many details about the attack are not yet clear. It is believed that there were about 1000 people in the theater building at the time of the bombing. From the explanations of the people involved in the building and the local government officials of the city, it is probable that some civilians settled in the underground bunker.
Maria explains that some people have settled in corridors and places on the ground floor. From the stories of the people who spoke to the BBC, we can see that many people are walking around the building and in the garden.
The day after the attack, the mayor of Mariupol announced that 130 people had survived. After that, the explanation was updated and it was said that most people might have been saved. However, there is no information since then. The city is in such a difficult situation that it is unlikely that the exact number of people who survived the bombardment at this building will be revealed.
Some people complained about the dog, so Maria lived in the hall for 10 days and settled right next to the stage. He believes that none of the approximately 30 people who settled in the hall survived. He says he was very lucky to be out during the bombing.
The latest status of Mariupol’s detected by satellite imagery
After the explosion, he couldn’t find the dog. He says he is experiencing a great sense of helplessness. “My dog was the most important thing in my life,” he says.
Meanwhile, Vladislav also sees what Mariia saw. Both saw many people leaving the building after the explosion.
Escape from the city
“Some of them had suitcases. No one knew what to do and the area was still bombed,” says Maria.
Looking at the damage in front of the theater, he realized that it was pointless to look for a new shelter. He leaves after a few hours of shock.
Trying to stop a vehicle leaving the city:
“People were panicking. No one took me to the car.” To tell. He starts walking on the beach. I think he should get out of the city.
Maria walks to the village of Pishanka. “A woman appeared in front of me.’Are you okay?’ She asked. I started crying,” she says.
The woman says she can give him tea and something to eat and spend the night there. The next morning, Maria departs again and walks to Melekine. She must stop at 20:00 in the evening because she has a curfew. She arrives in Yalta the next day and Berdyans’k the next day. “I was walking all the time,” he says.
Mariupol was the city that suffered Russia’s most violent assault on Ukraine. It was surrounded by invading troops and was attacked by land and air for almost a month. These days, sea attacks have been added to this. 300,000 people were trapped in a circle of attacks reminiscent of a medieval siege. The electricity, gas and water networks are not working in the city.
Some of the people injured in the attack are still being treated.
When Maria settled in the theater because she thought the house was dangerous, her grandmother, who lived with her, refused to leave the house and said, “This is my house. If I die, I will die here.” I did.
Maria wants to hear from her grandmother soon.
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