Russia claimed Thursday it took control of the southern port city of Mariupol, but a mass grave with more than 300 holes was found in the village of Manhush, reported The New York Times. Suspicions are growing that Russian troops killed hundreds of civilians outside the besieged Mariupol like they did in Bucha, near the capital Kyiv, and Borodyanka. U.S. President Joe Biden denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin by calling him a “butcher.”
According to CNN, Petro Andriuschchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, wrote on Telegram that as many as 20,000 people have died of Russian bombardment and Russian troops brought the bodies of the dead by trucks and threw them into ditches.
Satellite images revealed by Maxar Technologies showed more than 300 holes near a mass grave in Manhush, a village 19 kilometers west of Mariupol. The images of the holes, each measuring about 180 centimeters wide and 3 meters long, were taken on March 23-26, when the Russian forces occupied the village, and on April 6. The Mariupol City Council said the graves in Manhush could hold as many as 9,000 people, adding it is a clear evidence of a war crime.
Russian forces captured 42 villages in the eastern Donetsk region, where they are launching a major attack. Some experts believe that Putin has hastened the capture of the Donetsk region and claimed that Mariupol is under Russian control in order to declare victory, celebrating Victory Day on May 9. However, U.S. President Biden said there is no evidence yet that Mariupol has completely fallen. It is known that some 2,500 Ukraine forces and 1,000 civilians are putting up a fierce resistance at Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
U.S. President Biden announced another $1.3 billion in aid to Ukraine on Thursday. The new arms and economic aid include 121 “Ghost” drones, which are similar to U.S. suicide drone Switchblade, 72 155mm howitzer cannons and 140,000 shells. President Biden called Putin a “butcher” twice at a fundraising event for the Democratic Party.
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