On April 21 Mariupol City Council made an announcement: in the Donbas village of Manhush, Russian invaders may have buried anywhere from 3,000to 9,000 local residents.
Satellite images taken by Maxar Technologies, a private investigative organization, reveals the existence of a mass grave in the village.
NV explains what’s been happening in Manhush since the beginning of the war.
Tragic Statistics of Mariupol
The exact number of people who have been killed in Mariupol is unknown.
On April 12, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk Military Administration, made a statement: the Russian invasion has cost 22,000 human lives in this region of Ukraine.
“As of now, we are talking about 20,000 to 22,000 dead in Mariupol,” said Kyrylenko in a comment for CNN.
The city remains under Russian siege and has major problems with water and power, as well as heating. However, municipal service workers have managed to bury the dead. Some of the graves were dug in residential areas.
On April 13, Ukrainian intelligence announced that the leaders of the Russian Federation had ordered the destruction of evidence that would reveal the crimes conducted by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, which is why the invaders have begun using mobile crematoriums – to burn the bodies of Ukrainian civilians.
For instance, in Mariupol, 13 mobile crematoriums have been used for disposing of slain Ukrainian civilians. Ukrainian intelligence also has evidence that those crematoriums have been used to burn the bodies of dead Russian soldiers as well, making an accurate count of Russian losses impossible.
On April 15, Mariupol City Council reported that Russian forces had prohibited burying the dead on municipal territory, and even went as far as to exhume previously buried bodies, to rebury them some place else.
Most of the city is now controlled by Russian forces, who forbade residents from burying their loved ones.
“It’s unknown why the exhumation is taking place, and where the bodies will be delivered,” Mariupol’s City Council wrote in a statement.
“Given the intelligence information about 13 mobile crematoriums, we might assume that Russian occupation forces are trying to use any means tohide evidence about their crimes in our city.”
Mass Grave in Manhush
In the morning of April 21, Mariupol mayor Vadym Boychenko said on Ukrainian TV that local residents discovered a new mass grave, 30 meters long, and dug by the invaders.
“Our residents stated that today in Manhush [a village in 20 kilometers from Mariupol], Russians invaders have dug a “brotherly” grave, as long as 30 meters, and are using their vehicles to deliver bodies to that grave,” said Boychenko.
That same day, at 1121, Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, published a satellite image of the mass grave in Mariupol on his Telegram channel.
“Near the ring road, invaders constructed several “brotherly” graves, 30 meters long each, and are bringing dead bodies with the vehicles they have,” Andyushchenko stated.
All the bodies had been put in plastic bags.
“This confirms that information that we previously obtained about the grow-ing number of dead bodies, including in another industrial area in Mariupol,” added the mayoral advisor.
“This is direct evidence of the war crimes, and attempts to cover them up. We are providing coordinates for this “brotherly” grave to all media organizations who may be able to discover new proof of this.”
His next post contained these coordinates.
On the evening on April 21, journalists of from Schemes, a media project by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, published their own images of mass grave in Manhush.
The images showed that this was a trench more than 300 meters long.“According to the satellite images that we have, the trench appeared here at the end of March. It wasn’t yet there on images taken on March 23. On the next image, taken on March 29, we can see the trench, which is over 300 meters long, and we can also see the technical equipment used for digging it,” writes Schemes.
Additionally, in an image taken on April 9, it’s possible to see that the trench had already been sifted through with soil, sand, and rocks, while also being widened a bit.
Andryushchenko told Schemes that dead bodies taken from the city streets are first taken to an industrial area in the city, as those areas have special refrigerators. Then, Russian soldiers put the corpses in plastic bags for further burial.
This 300 meter mass grave exceeds the length of the mass grave found in Bucha, in Kyiv region, where the Ukrainian government has recognized an act of genocide - there, Ukrainian authorities discovered 70 dead bodies buried in a 14 meter long trench.
Besides that, Mariupol may have even more, so far undiscovered graves.In his Telegram post, Andryushchenko added that mass grave in Manhush is at least two times wider than the one in Bucha.
“Even if you discount the depth of the grave, the one in Manhush was pre-pared for at least 3,000 corpses,” the mayoral advisor noted. Maxar Technology satellite images of the areas support Schemes’ assertions.
According to their images, new graves appeared on March 23-26 and kept appearing over the past several weeks. Those graves are organized in four rows, numbering over 200.
In the evening on April 21, the Mariupol City Council made a statement in its official Telegram channel that in Manhush alone, the Russian invaders may have buried 3,000 to 9,000 dead residents of Mariupol.
“This information is supported by a comparison with images made in Bucha, were 70 dead individuals were buried in graves. Maxar images taken on April 9 show a sector with mass graves in Manhush whose total square area is 20 times larger,” the City Council announced.
Russian soldiers have been digging and filling the graves each day in April, and bodies have been stacked there in several layers.
Vadym Boychenko, the mayor of Mariupol, commented that “the biggest war crime of the 21st century has been committed in our city. That’s the new Babyn Yar, where Hitler destroyed Jews, Romas, and Slavs. Now, Putin is destroying Ukrainians. He has already killed tens of thousands of civilians in Mariupol. This requires a strong reaction by the civilized world. The genocide should be stopped at any price.”
On April 22, Andryushchehnko stated that some of those buried in Manhush had their bodies cut in to pieces.
“That’s why they are put in plastic bags,” he explained.
“The burial works like this: cars arrive at the site, and then people wearing Russian military uniform use dump trucks to drop corpses into the graves.”