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A Russian airstrike may have killed 300 sheltering in a theater, officials say

A satellite image shows the destruction wrought on the theater (center left) in Mariupol, Ukraine. The city council says around 300 people are believed to have died in the bombing.
Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
A satellite image shows the destruction wrought on the theater (center left) in Mariupol, Ukraine. The city council says around 300 people are believed to have died in the bombing.

About 300 people may have died from last week's bombing of the drama theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, city officials said on Friday, calling Russia a terrorist state for its actions.

The landmark theater had become a place of refuge from the war, with hundreds of people gathered in the building and its bomb shelter. At least 130 people survived the bombing, as work crews searched for chambers in the ruins of the theater.

But in an update on the city council's Telegram channel, officials said witnesses are now reporting that around 300 people died in the March 16 catastrophe.

The city government accused Russia's military of inhuman cruelty, saying it knowingly targeted a gathering of civilians. At the time of the attack, the word "Children" was written in Russian in large white letters on the ground in front of and behind theater — whose size and red roof made it stand out in Mariupol's landscape.


This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.