Comments and statements of the Ombudsman Events News Ombudsman

I with representatives of the DPR MES have visited the central part of Mariupol. I’ve had conversations with local residents and assessed the scale of destruction of civilian infrastructure.

I was deeply impressed by what I saw and heard. Residential buildings, key social facilities are not just damaged by accidental fire. By the nature of the destruction, it is obvious that the goal of the AFU was to raze the city to the ground, destroying both the buildings and the civilians in them.

For example, a nine-story building at 79 Metallurgov Avenue, smashed and burned by the aimed fire of a Ukrainian tank. The bodies of at least 13 civilians still remain under the rubble here.

The state of the Mariupol Drama Theatre is also shocking. Those who personally saw the consequences of this tragedy have no doubts that the building into which Ukrainian militants lured local residents under the pretext of distributing humanitarian aid and evacuation was mined and blown up from the inside.

Another object is a house at 47 Metallurgov Avenue. The result of its shelling was the death of more than 10 people. All of them are buried in a mass grave right next to the neighbouring and also destroyed high-rise building.

And these are just a few examples. Now, in the course of the liberation of Mariupol, we have begun to collect the remains of those who died in the central part of the city. The exact number of victims of war crimes in Ukraine will be known after the completion of search activities. But at this stage it is already clear that we are talking about the deliberate mass extermination of the civilian population.

There are no words in the diplomatic language that can describe the atrocities committed by Ukrainian militants. It is unlikely that people in a normal psycho-emotional state are capable of such atrocities. Therefore, I would like to address the military-political leadership of Ukraine. If you are familiar with such words as “warrior” and “man”, remove your dogs of war from residential areas. Fight in the fields, and stop hiding behind women, old people and children.  

I emphasize that at the moment, maximum efforts are concentrated on collecting the evidence base of war crimes of the AFU in Donbass, including in the liberated territories. And the data obtained during today’s trip will also become a weighty argument in the framework of the future tribunal. I assure you, we will get the job done and all perpetrators will be punished.