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New videos show bodies of civilians on Mariupol streets

Videos from Reuters and uploaded on social media showed lifeless bodies along a highway south of Mariupol's Ilyich steel and iron plant. (Video: Reuters/Twitter)

New videos recorded in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol show the lifeless bodies of more than a dozen civilians lying on streets.

The bodies were visible in several graphic video clips that were posted to social media since April 15 and verified by The Washington Post. Some of the footage was first geolocated by an open-source researcher on Twitter.

At least 17 bodies in civilian clothes were discovered along a half-mile section of Nikopolsky Avenue, a multilane highway that runs across the northeast part of the city, the video shows. The street is immediately to the south of the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works, which Russian forces captured last week.

Ilyich Iron

and Steel

Works

Nikopolsky Ave.

Bodies seen

in videos

DETAIL

MARIUPOL

500 FEET

Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies via Google Earth

THE WASHINGTON POST

Ilyich Iron

and Steel

Works

Nikopolsky Ave.

Bodies seen in videos

DETAIL

MARIUPOL

500 FEET

Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies via Google Earth

THE WASHINGTON POST

Ilyich Iron

and Steel

Works

Nikopolsky Ave.

Bodies seen in videos

DETAIL

MARIUPOL

500 FEET

Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies via Google Earth

THE WASHINGTON POST

It was not clear from the footage precisely when the people died nor how they were killed. Their bodies, most of which had been left uncovered, appeared largely intact.

A woman reported to be an employee of the Ilyich plant, Irina Korolyova, told the Associated Press this week that many local people had been killed during fierce fighting in the area. “A young woman is deceased for sure, under 30 years old. She was killed together with her child in front of the eyes of my friends. With a little child,” Korolyova said.

Pro-Russia media outlets alleged that Ukrainian snipers had carried out the street killings prior to Russia seizing the metal works, citing remarks from unidentified local people. News footage showing deserted Ukrainian armor and the bodies of several Ukrainian troops, said to have been recorded inside the Ilyich plant, was broadcast this week by Russian state media.

Mariupol, a strategically important port city and a hub for Ukraine’s steel industry, has been bombarded by Russian shelling for weeks. Having halted its efforts farther west and refocused on the eastern Donbas region, Russian forces claim to be on the verge of taking complete control of Mariupol, in what would be Moscow’s most significant victory of its war so far.

The governor of the surrounding Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said last week that Mariupol had been “wiped off the face of the earth” by the Russian attacks. Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of targeting unarmed civilians and blocking aid routes to the city.

As Russia has steadily seized more sections of Mariupol, Ukraine has refused to back down in its defense of the city. Ukrainian forces are now defending their final stronghold in Mariupol at a second metal plant, the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, to the south. The commander of Ukrainian forces at the plant told The Post on Tuesday that his troops would not surrender.

Mariupol has been the site of some of the war’s most vivid devastation since Russia’s invasion in late February. Last month, a maternity hospital in the city was bombed and a theater where hundreds of residents were sheltering was also struck even after the Russian word for “children” was painted on the ground outside.

Ukrainian officials have estimated that 20,000 people may have been killed in Mariupol since the start of the war. More than 300,000 of the city’s 450,000 residents have fled the conflict, according to Ukrainian authorities.

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