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Satellite images show makeshift camp where Russia has ‘forcibly taken’ 5,000 Mariupol citizens


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has branded the Russian siege of Mariupol a ‘crime against humanity’ – just hours after satellite images emerged of a makeshift camp where thousands of civilians are feared to have been forcibly relocated to. 

The camp, in Russian-controlled Bezimenne, east of Mariupol, is believed to be housing an estimated 5,000 people. 

Another satellite image shows dozens of buses – believed to be carrying Ukrainian civilians – travelling bumper to bumper on a road just outside the town. 

‘What the Russian troops are doing to Mariupol is a crime against humanity, which is happening in front of the eyes of the whole planet in real time,’ Zelensky told the Danish parliament in a video address.   

The comedian-turned-war time leader also accused Vladimir Putin’s forces of blowing up shelters despite knowing that civilians were hiding in them. 

It comes as a total of 40,000 people are feared to have been moved to Russian-held territory without any coordination with Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.  

One Mariupol refugee, who is now in Russia, told the BBC: ‘All of us were taken forcibly.’ 

Some Ukrainian officials fear the camps will replicate those from the Chechen war, which saw thousands brutally interrogated at the hands of Russia, with many ultimately disappearing. 

It comes as Ukraine announced yet another humanitarian corridor today in a desperate bid to evacuate the 160,000 civilians still trapped in Mariupol. 

A makeshift camp (pictured) seen in satellite images in Bezimenne, east of Mariupol, is believed to be housing an estimated 5,000 people alone.

Photo shows buses bumper to bumper, believed to be carrying Ukrainian civilians, on the road to Russian controlled Bezimenne

Photo shows buses bumper to bumper, believed to be carrying Ukrainian civilians, on the road to Russian controlled Bezimenne 

A service member of pro-Russian troops walks near an apartment building destroyed in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on March 28

A service member of pro-Russian troops walks near an apartment building destroyed in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on March 28

Maria Pavlovych weeps as she remembers her 25-year-old soldier son, Roman Pavlovych, who was killed near the besieged city of Mariupol, in his bedroom, in Hordynia village, western Ukraine, Friday, March 25, 2022

Maria Pavlovych weeps as she remembers her 25-year-old soldier son, Roman Pavlovych, who was killed near the besieged city of Mariupol, in his bedroom, in Hordynia village, western Ukraine, Friday, March 25, 2022

Maria Pavlovych weeps as she remembers her 25-year-old soldier son, Roman Pavlovych, who was killed near the besieged city of Mariupol, in his bedroom

Maria Pavlovych weeps as she remembers her 25-year-old soldier son, Roman Pavlovych, who was killed near the besieged city of Mariupol, in his bedroom

A satellite image captured by Maxar Technologies showing the tented camp (centre of image) in the Russian controlled village of Bezimenne

A satellite image captured by Maxar Technologies showing the tented camp (centre of image) in the Russian controlled village of Bezimenne

Meanwhile, Zelensky’s forces continue to cling on to the strategic port city in the face of persistent Russian attacks, with one video showing a pro-Russian tank being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade as it travelled through one of its neighbourhoods. 

Matt Morris, spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told the BBC that international humanitarian law ‘requires that people should be allowed to leave, but should not be forced to’. 

He said warring sides should let aid in and allow for people stay if they wish.  

‘The sides have to be the guarantors and have an agreement to allow safe passage,’ he said. 

‘They have to publicise the route and allow plenty of time for people to get out.’

He added: ‘It’s a desperate situation in Mariupol – we’ve called on all sides to facilitate safe access in and out.

‘We don’t have a team currently able to access.’

There are believed to be around 160,000 people still trapped in the strategic port city of Mariupol, which has been reduced to rubble following weeks of Russian shelling. 

There have been multiple attempts at evacuating people via humanitarian corridors, but they have repeatedly collapsed after being allegedly bombed by Russian forces. 

Some 140,000 people have managed to flee the city, with many in Russian-controlled neighbourhoods being forced to move eastward to other territories, or Russia itself, after becoming hungry, thirsty and often sick, according to reports.  

An armoured convoy of pro-Russian troops on a road leading to the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on March 28

An armoured convoy of pro-Russian troops on a road leading to the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on March 28

Service members of pro-Russian troops are seen atop of an armoured vehicle, branded with the now-notorious Z marking, on a road leading to the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, on March 28

Service members of pro-Russian troops are seen atop of an armoured vehicle, branded with the now-notorious Z marking, on a road leading to the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, on March 28 

It comes as Ukraine said Tuesday it had reopened humanitarian corridors and evacuated civilians from war-scarred regions after a one-day pause over what Kyiv called possible Russian ‘provocations’.

‘Three humanitarian corridors were agreed for today,’ deputy PM Ms Vereshchuk said in a video statement posted on Telegram, a day after announcing their closure citing intelligence reports.

The first corridor will be from the battered city of Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia using private cars, with Mariupol residents who had made it to Berdyansk also joining, she said.

A second corridor will travel from the Russian-occupied town of Melitopol to Zaporizhzhia.

The third will leave Energodar, where the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant captured by Russian troops is located, and also head to Zaporizhzhia.

On Monday, the evacuations of civilians was halted after Ukrainian authorities said they had intelligence reports suggested invading Russian troops were planning attacks on humanitarian routes.  

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators held a second day of face-to-face talks in Istanbul on Tuesday as Ukraine clung on in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday hailed the resumption of over-the-table talks, saying they must bring peace ‘without delay’, signalling a willingness to compromise on the most sensitive topics. 

Several rounds of talks have already failed to end the war sparked by the Russian invasion, which is now in its second month.

The besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been 'turned to dust' by Russian forces and is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, its mayor said Monday

The besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been ‘turned to dust’ by Russian forces and is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, its mayor said Monday

Local resident Valentina Demura, 70, stands next to the building where her apartment, destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict, is located in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on Sunday

Local resident Valentina Demura, 70, stands next to the building where her apartment, destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict, is located in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on Sunday

The 160,000 civilians trapped in the city are encircled by Russian forces, with ever-dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine. Pictured: A destroyed tank in Mariupol

The 160,000 civilians trapped in the city are encircled by Russian forces, with ever-dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine. Pictured: A destroyed tank in Mariupol

Mayor Vadym Boichenko said the situation is so dire in Mariupol, where about 160,000 civilians are trapped without power, that the port city must be completely evacuated

Mayor Vadym Boichenko said the situation is so dire in Mariupol, where about 160,000 civilians are trapped without power, that the port city must be completely evacuated

About 20,000 people have been killed, according to Zelensky, 10 million have fled their homes and despite Russian military setbacks, several cities are still coming under withering bombardment. 

The besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been ‘turned to dust’ by Russian forces and is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, its mayor Vadym Boichenko said yesterday. 

Boichenko said the situation is so dire in Mariupol, where about 160,000 civilians are trapped without heat or power, that the port city must be completely evacuated.

Boichenko said 26 buses were waiting to evacuate civilians on Monday, but that Vladimir Putin ‘s men had not agreed to give them safe passage.

Civilians trapped in the city are encircled by Russian forces, with ever-dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Russian troops are ‘turning the city into dust’, describing the situation in Mariupol as ‘catastrophic’ with people fighting to survive.



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