The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has evoked emotional responses, locally and abroad, for both sides. According to Reuters, at least 46 000 lives have been lost, 400 people are missing along with a total of about 13 million people being displaced.
However, now more examples of the horrors of war have come to light after rows of graves were discovered in Manhush Village, near the besieged Mariupol in Ukraine through satellite imagery.
‘BIGGEST WAR CRIME OF THE 21ST CENTURY’
Representatives from the US-based company Maxar Technologies announced on Thursday that satellite images that supported reports of a Manhush mass grave as the reported location where Russian soldiers have been taking the bodies of people who were killed in Mariupol.
“A review of our satellite images from mid-March through mid-April indicates that the expansion of the new set of graves began between 23 to 26 March and has continued to expand over the past couple of weeks. The graves are aligned in four sections of linear rows and contain more than 200 new graves,”
said the company in a statement.
The company’s GeoEye-1 satellite captured the image on 3 April.
Vadym Boichenko, the mayor of Mariupol, alleged in a statement that Russian forces were attempting to conceal proof of the war crimes committed in Mariupol. He made specific references to the Maxar satellite images.
“The biggest war crime of the 21st century was committed in Mariupol. This is the new Babyn Yar. Then, Hitler killed Jews, Roma, and Slavs. Now, Putin is destroying Ukrainians,”
said Mayor Boichenko.
He further stated about 9 000 civilians are expected to be buried in the mass grave, claiming that the Russian forces were continuously digging graves and filling them with corpses throughout the duration of April. Satellite images are yet to be released to verify the mass grave’s growth
Boichenko claimed that more than 20 000 Mariupol residents had been killed since Russian forces began attacking the city.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory as he declared that the city of Mariupol was, as he described in a statement, as being successfully liberated.
NOT THE FIRST MASS GRAVE DISCOVERED WITH SATELLITES
At the beginning of April, Maxar’s WorldView-3 satellite successfully photographed a mass grave on the grounds of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints, on 31 March.
A total body count has not yet been verified for the Bucha mass grave.
The war between Russia and Ukraine continues to wage leaving most of the world watching with bated breath as new updates emerge. Maxar Technologies representatives have indicated that they would continue to monitor the situation through the use of their satellites.