Russian forces bombed an art school in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine where 400 people sought shelter, Ukrainian officials announced on Sunday.
Ukrainian officials stated that the entire building was reduced to rubble, and claimed that there were likely many people trapped under the debris.
As of Sunday evening, no official figure regarding causalities has been released.
Mariupol, a vibrant port city in southern Ukraine, has been heavily targeted by Russian shelling in the past two weeks and more than 30,000 people are estimated to have fled already. At least 2,500 civilians have been killed so far in the city, Ukraine officials say.
Mariupol art school targeted in Russian bombing
According to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, hundreds of thousands of people in Mariupol are stuck in the city without basic necessities such as heat, electricity, or water as Russian troops siege the city.
Officials in Ukraine said on Wednesday that Russian forces bombed a theater where civilians were sheltering in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
Since the bombing, 130 people have been rescued, but countless more are thought to be trapped under the rubble, but Russian attacks have impeded search and rescue efforts.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lamented at the attacks on the city, stating in a video message: “To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come.”
Ukrainian officials claimed that Mariupol residents are being forcefully taken to Russia against their will by Russian troops.
“It is known that the capture Mariupol residents were taken to filtration camps, where the occupies checked people’s phones and documents…After the inspection, some Mariupol residents were redirected to remote cities in Russia, the fate of others remains unknown,” a statement from the Mariupol city council reads.
Greek diplomat in Mariupol arrives in Greece
“Mariupol will be added to the lists of international cities that have been destroyed, such as Guernica, Stalingrad, and Grozny,” Androulakis stated just after arriving in Athens.
The attack on the city was swift and destructive, the Greek diplomat stated. “Within 24 hours all of the infrastructure in Mariupol was lost,” he said.
Androulakis was first evacuated from the city on Thursday. Upon arriving to a safe area in central Ukraine after fleeing the city, the Greek diplomat recounted the horrors he witnessed in Mariupol to journalist Kostas Onisenko.
“Every day the situation was becoming worse. The city was encircled and the battles were closing in. Civilians were hit. The civilian infrastructure was hit. A hospital was hit, a library, a university. When I say they were hit, I mean nothing was left standing,” Androulakis said.