KYIV: Kyiv has been urgently trying to find a means to evacuate the thousands of military and residents who remain besieged in the strategically critical city with no food or supplies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared “victory” in Mariupol, but has instructed his forces not to attack the remaining pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the beleaguered port city.
Officials in Ukraine claimed on Thursday that a mass grave in a town outside of the destroyed city might hold up to 9,000 people.
The place was compared by Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko to the Kyiv ravine, where Nazi soldiers massacred an estimated 33,000 Jews in 1941.
“In Mariupol, the largest war crime of the twenty-first century was committed,” he remarked. “This is the new Babi Yar,” says the narrator. After that, Hitler slaughtered Jews, Roma, and Slavs. Putin is currently annihilating Ukrainians.”
Under weeks of intensive shelling, Ukrainian soldiers have held out, destroying most of Mariupol and drawing worldwide condemnation of Moscow’s methods. Kyiv has been urgently trying to find a means to evacuate the thousands of military and residents who are still stuck in the city without food or supplies.
The fate of Mariupol, as well as the broader Russian offensive in the east, has prompted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to appeal to his country’s allies for urgent weapon supplies — an appeal that the US appears to be responding to, with President Joe Biden announcing a new $800 million military aid package in remarks delivered Thursday morning.