‘Only ruins and mass graves’ Mariupol native details the horrors wrought by Russia

Mariupol native Diana Berg detailed the devastation wrought by the relentless bombardment of Mariupol on today. She said that when she escaped, the city was “more or less standing”, but now “there are only ruins and mass graves”. She said she “cannot even imagine” how long it will be until the people “get back our city”, drawing comparisons to the “very very slow” progress of Bucha and Irpin in “getting back to life”, where Russian war crimes were exposed on a mass scale. 

“It is very hard to describe what is left now because when I was escaping it was more or less still standing. 

“Whereas now, there are only ruins, mass graves, and it gets worse.

“It gets warmer, as summer is coming, so we can only imagine what will happen with the mass graves. 

“And with the sea, which has been polluted because of all the Russian bombing, it’s a catastrophe. 

“Now, the city has just turned into a catastrophe in only three months. And I cannot even imagine how much time will be needed to renovate and to fix everything. 

“Because we see how Bucha and Irpin after the occupation are very very slowly getting back to life. 

“I cannot even imagine how long it will take to reconstruct and get back our city when it is unoccupied.” 

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The commander of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, the main outfit defending Mariupol, said today the process of removing the dead from the steelworks was still underway.

Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko said in a video shared on the Telegram messaging app: “I hope that in the near future, relatives and Ukraine will be able to bury their soldiers with honour.” 

The Kremlin, who branded the Azovstal defenders as “nazis”, said the troops would be treated in line with international norms following their capture, but some Russian lawmakers have demanded they be tried for war crimes and one said they should face the death penalty.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has been given access to register hundreds of prisoners from the plant, but has not specified how many there are.