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AP: At least 10,300 new graves dug in occupied Mariupol since March

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 22, 2022 5:52 PM 2 min read
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A Dec. 22 Associated Press (AP) analysis has released evidence of an estimated 10,300 new graves dug in Russian-occupied Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, since early March when the battles in the city intensified. AP calculated the number by analyzing satellite imagery, drone, and video footage.

The total area occupied by the new graves is more than 51,500 square meters, according to AP estimates. The video footage reviewed showed that Russian occupying authorities used heavy machinery to dig long trenches there, which were then backfilled.

Most of the graves are located in the cemetery in the village of Staryi Krym near the city. Two smaller cemeteries in Manhush and Vynohradne were also analyzed.

Most of the graves lacked names, with only hand-scrawled numbers on small plaques. Some graves were marked with more than one number, possibly indicating more than one person buried, the publication wrote.

Roland Wessing, a forensic expert, told AP that the number of graves “doesn’t necessarily match the number of Ukrainians killed.”

Though the analysis can’t determine how these people died, the mass burial sites exhumed in liberated Ukrainian territories often contained more than one set of human remains per one grave, while many bodies had signs of violent death, according to AP.

U.S. satellite imagery company Maxar published new images on Dec. 2, showing that the number of graves at Mariupol’s Staryi Krym cemetery on the western side of the city had significantly increased.

The BBC reported on Nov. 7 that more than 4,600 graves had been dug since the beginning of Russia’s all-out invasion in Staryi Krym.

Russia’s months-long siege of Mariupol reduced the once vibrant port city into a landscape of rubble. Over 20,000 people are believed to have been killed during the siege, but the actual number could be much higher, according to the Mariupol City Council.

Voices of besieged Mariupol: 'It’s not even comparable to hell'
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