Apr 26, 2022 - World

Satellite imagery detects third mass grave near Mariupol

In this satellite image, a mass gravesite can be seen outside a village near Mariupol, which Russia has been bombarding for weeks.
A satellite image of a mass gravesite outside a village near Mariupol. Photo: Planet Labs PBC

Satellite imagery has detected another mass grave outside Mariupol, the besieged strategic port city in southeast Ukraine that has been bombarded by Russian forces for weeks, Radio Free Europe first reported on Monday.

Driving the news: The third mass grave site detected by U.S. firm Planet Labs' satellite imagery around Mariupol was captured from March 24 to April 24 in the Russian-occupied village of Staryi Krym, some five miles from the city, according to dates on the images and local officials.

What they're saying: Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko told Radio Free Europe the imagery concurs with Ukrainian officials' information indicating that Russian forces have "used mass graves to bury civilians killed" in the bombardment of the city, according to a Washington Post translation of the article.

  • The information indicated this sometimes involved "enlisting residents in the digging work in exchange for food," Boychenko said.

The big picture: The Kremlin has repeatedly denied targeting civilians or committing other war crimes. The International Criminal Court and other prosecutorial agencies have opened investigations into allegations that Russian forces have committed these and other crimes against humanity.

Go deeper: What counts as a war crime and why they're so hard to prosecute.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment Boychenko and further context.

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