Google Maps has updated its satellite imagery of the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol, revealing what a Ukrainian official has said is evidence of previously unknown mass-burial sites.
The images, which are believed to have been collected in March, clearly show the destruction wrought by the Kremlin’s forces after they invaded last year. It includes the city’s drama theatre, which was hit by a Russian bomb, killing up to 600 people.
Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, wrote in a post on Telegram: “Now you can see the city after Russian shelling. The bombed-out Drama Theater even before the removal of the rubble and with the inscription ‘children’.”
Andryushchenko also highlighted what he said was evidence of new areas of mass graves.
"The [grave sites] are visually larger in size than the mass graves in Vynohradne or Manhush … the Novotroitske cemetery was closed and under the control of the occupiers for a long enough time (approximately until mid-July)," he said.
An area of the new satellite imagery highlighted by Andryushchenko showing what he says are new mass-burial sites. PHOTO: Google Maps
A particularly poignant aspect of the Google Maps update is that street view pictures of what the city looked like before it was destroyed are still available alongside the new pictures.
Maxim Eristavi, an independent journalist and the co-founder of the independent news platform Hromadske International, posted images of Mariupol on his Twitter feed, with the, words: “I am in a very dark wormhole … staring at the devastation and clicking on pins of places that used to be, instead of today’s ruins.
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“Like digital ghosts of the life that genocide robbed us of. My heart aches so much.”
google updated mariupol maps and I am in a very dark wormhole of staring at the devastation and clicking on pins of places that used to be instead of today’s ruins. like digital ghosts of the life that genocide robbed us of.— вареничок.еріставі 🇺🇦🏳️🌈 (@maksymeristavi) April 26, 2023
my heart aches so much. pic.twitter.com/NjjNtPQ1hy
On April 21, Russia said it had taken the southeastern port city of Mariupol, which had been relentlessly bombarded since the start of the war and subjected to a brutal siege.
Around 2,000 Ukrainian fighters held out for nearly a month in the city's sprawling Azovstal steelworks before being ordered in May by Kyiv to surrender to the Russians to save their lives.
According to the Ukrainian government, 90 percent of Mariupol has been razed in the war and at least 20,000 people killed.
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