The United Nations claims that Russian forces in Mariupol have killed “thousands” of civilians, investigations are underway

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Thousands of Ukrainians civilians were killed by Russian forces in Mariupol since the start of the war, but the “true scale” of the atrocities has yet to be fully discovered, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights advised on Thursday.

“I am shocked by the extent of the destruction and the numerous violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that have allegedly been committed in the city,” said High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet referring to the port city of southern Ukraine during a special. session.

“We estimate the civilian death toll in Mariupol to be in the thousands, while only over time will the true extent of the atrocities, casualties and damage become clear,” he added.

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the graves of civilians killed during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on April 19, 2022.

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the graves of civilians killed during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on April 19, 2022.
(REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko / File Photo)

UN SAYS IMPOSSIBLE PACE AGREEMENT BETWEEN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE

The mayor of Mariupol said in mid-April that around 21,000 civilians had been killed in the port city during the invasion of Russia. But the UN was unable to validate these figures.

The UN reported Thursday that there were 7,326 civilian casualties with 3,541 dead and 3,785 injured across Ukraine.

But the highest intergovernmental body has repeatedly warned that these figures are likely to be significantly higher.

Bachelet said the “vast majority” of the civil cases were caused by Russia’s persistent use of explosive weapons such as heavy artillery, multiple rocket launch systems, missiles and air strikes.

“Although these incidents can be attributed to both sides to the conflict, most of these casualties appear to be attributable to the Russian military and affiliated armed groups,” he added.

A family mourns a relative killed in the war with Russia, while dozens of black bags containing multiple bodies of the victims were seen scattered at Bucha cemetery on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday.
(AP / Rodrigo Abd)

The UN is coordinating with several investigative groups on allegations of human rights violations across the country.

The high commissioner also said that over 1,000 civilian bodies have been recovered in the areas around Kiev alone.

These victims were found to have died as a result of “hostilities” in the area while others were “summarily executed” when they left shelters for food and water.

UKRAINE NUMBER OF DEATHS “THOUSANDS OF THOUSANDS HIGHER” THAN RECORDED, SAYS UN OFFICER

An incident was confirmed in a village in the northern Chernihiv region where 360 ​​residents, including 74 children, were forced by Russian soldiers to remain in the basement of a school for 28 days.

“The basement was extremely overcrowded. People had to sit for days without the opportunity to lie down,” he said, noting that they had no access to water, toilets or ventilation.

Ten “elders” died from the accident.

Bachelet said she was concerned about the growing number of reports of sexual violence from previously occupied areas around Kiev along with other regions of the war-torn nation.

“Women and girls are the most cited victims. However, reports of affected men and boys are starting to emerge,” said the high commissioner.

Nadiya Trubchaninov, 70, sits next to a plastic bag containing the body of her son Vadym Trubchaninov, 48, who was killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha on March 30, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday April 12, 2022.

Nadiya Trubchaninov, 70, sits next to a plastic bag containing the body of her son Vadym Trubchaninov, 48, who was killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha on March 30, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday April 12, 2022.
(Photo AP / Rodrigo Abd)

Forced disappearances have also been confirmed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of mostly men, but some women and at least one boy have been documented.

Former soldiers, public officials, activists and journalists are among those who have been forcibly deported to Russia or Belarus, where they have been held in “pre-trial detention centers”.

At least five of the 204 confirmed cases of deportees were found dead, while another 38 people were repatriated.

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“The real number of enforced disappearances is probably higher again,” Bachelet said.

The commissioner noted that there have been ten cases of possible enforced disappearances by Ukrainian law enforcement officers. Seven of the pro-Russian victims were released.