The word ‘children’ was written in Russian outside bomb shelter before it was bombed. Updates.

A theater in Ukraine that was reportedly sheltering about one thousand civilians including children was directly hit by a Russian bomb.

(Video: Fox News)

“Another horrendous war crime in Mariupol. Massive Russian attack on the Drama Theater where hundreds of innocent civilians were hiding. The building is now fully ruined,” Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister, posted on Twitter Wednesday.

A satellite image from Maxar Technologies purportedly shows that the word “children” was written in Russian on the ground near the theater.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people had been seeking refuge from Russia’s ongoing invasion in the building, Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov told the BBC.

“On 16 March, Russian air force dropped a powerful bomb on the building of the drama theatre in Mariupol,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement. “The theatre building served as a shelter for hundreds of Mariupol residents who had lost their homes as a result of Russian armed forces bombing and shelling the city.”


“The bomb strike demolished the central part of the theatre building, causing large numbers of people to be buried under the debris. The assessment of the exact number of persons affected is currently impossible due to ongoing shelling,” the statement continued in a translation by Fox News.

Russia’s “delivering a purposeful bomb attack to the place of mass gathering” constituted another war crime, according to the Ukrainian ministry.

It was reported that the shelter underneath the theater survived the attack and there are survivors though the numbers are not yet clear.

“Mariupol’s bomb shelter of the Drama Theater, which was bombed by Russian invaders yesterday, March 16, survived, the debris began to be dismantled, and people survived,” Mariupol government official Serhiy Taruta posted online.

“It looks like most of them have survived,” Dmytro Gurin told the BBC.

According to the BBC:

But Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the city’s mayor, earlier said emergency workers were struggling to reach the building due to constant shelling.

Images of the theatre, verified by the BBC, showed extensive damage and smoke rising from the site.

Russia’s air strikes and shells have previously hit a maternity hospital, a church and apartment buildings.

Mariupol’s city council said in a statement that Russian forces “deliberately and cynically destroyed” the theatre, saying a “plane dropped a bomb on a building where hundreds of peaceful Mariupol residents were hiding”.


“Our hearts are broken by what Russia is doing to our people. To our Mariupol,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address Wednesday.


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