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Russia’s Investigative Committee claims over 3,000 citizen bodies discovered in Mariupol after Russian ‘liberation’ of the city

After the Russian army had captured the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in April, Russia’s investigating authorities discovered bodies of over 3,000 civilians, Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, says.

“In April 2022, bodies of 51 civilians were discovered on the positions abandoned by Ukrainian troops; after the total liberation and inspection of the city, the number of [bodies] ended up being over 3,000,” Bastrykin details.

It is noted that local residents were unable to leave the city and “were moving in search of food”. Bastrykin blames all murders on “Ukrainian punishers”.

The head of the Investigative Committee also proposes to create a DNA database of people killed in Mariupol so that the relatives of civilians considered missing could find out whether they had been killed.

The Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal case on using prohibited methods and means of warfare, the persons of interest in the case being Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi and other Ukrainian military chiefs.

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Ukrainian authorities think that at least 25,000 people were killed in the battle for Mariupol, with 5,000-7,000 of them dying trapped under the rubble of buildings destroyed by shelling. Before the war, Mariupol’s population was estimated at about 500,000 people.

According to the BBC’ calculations, over 4,600 new graves have been dug in the city since the start of the war.

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