Images of mobile crematoria being towed by the Russian army caused horror at the beginning of the war. In Mariupol, the vehicles are now said to be used to remove dead civilians.
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The horror at the pictures of massacred civilians in Bucha is still fresh, now come out Mariupol more references to Russian war crimes: “The murderers cover their tracks. Russian mobile crematoria have started operations in Mariupol,” reports the mayor of the besieged and largely destroyed city in the south of the Ukraine on Telegram.
“A week ago, conservative estimates of the death toll were 5,000,” writes Vadym Boychenko. “But given the size of the city, the catastrophic destruction, the length of the blockade and the fierce resistance, tens of thousands of Mariupol civilians could fall victim to the occupiers.” Potential witnesses to the Russian atrocities would be “identified and destroyed in filtration camps,” according to the mayor.
“Russians left dirty work to collaborators”
The allegations have not yet been independently confirmed. Boychenko also provides no evidence for his claims. However, there were already indications of the existence of mobile crematoria in the Russian army at the beginning of the war.
On Telegram, Mayor Boychenko gives more details about the alleged actions of the Russian army in his city: “The Russians left all the dirty work to the collaborators. Eyewitnesses report that the racists recruited local and DNR terrorists for special brigades.” By “DNR terrorists” Boychenko apparently means the pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region Donetsk.
“Whole town turned into a death camp”
Boychenko’s message ends with a dramatic appeal: “The world has not seen the magnitude of the tragedy in Mariupol since the Nazi concentration camps. The racists have turned our entire city into a death camp. Unfortunately, the eerie analogy is gaining more and more confirmation. That is no more Chechnya or Aleppo. This is the new Auschwitz and Maidanek. The world should help punish Putin’s villains.”
According to the British government, the humanitarian situation in Mariupol has continued to deteriorate. According to the Ministry of Defense in London, 160,000 residents are still staying in the heavily contested port city on the Azov Sea. Most people would have neither light nor means of communication, medicine, heating or water. “Russian forces prevented access for humanitarian aid. Probably to force the defenders to give up,” the statement continued.
Meanwhile, the International Red Cross reported that more than 500 other people had recently managed to escape from the encircled city. A convoy of buses and private cars arrived in Zaporizhia after the civilians fled on their own, the aid organization said. However, thousands of civilians still need safe conduct and assistance, says the head of the ICRC delegation in Ukraine, Pascal Hundt. Ukraine blames the Russian armed forces for the fact that bus convoys for larger evacuations did not get through to Mariupol on several occasions.