This satellite image released by Maxar Technologies on April 21, 2022, shows an overview of a mass grave site on the northwestern edge of Manhush, Ukraine (located approximately 20 kilometers west of Mariupol) and adjacent to an existing village cemetery, on April 3, 2022. - Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the liberation of the flattened city of Mariupol after nearly two months of fighting, demanding its trapped Ukrainian defenders be sealed up in their underground last stand. The fate of the besieged port has become totemic as Russia battles to complete a land bridge covering territories of Ukraine already under its control, including Crimea -- which would deprive the country of its industrial heartland and most of its coastline. AFP
``The greatest war crime of the 21st century has been committed in Mariupol. This is the new Babi Yar,'' Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said, referring to the site of multiple Nazi massacres in which nearly 34,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed in 1941.
``Then Hitler killed Jews, Roma and Slavs. And now Putin is destroying Ukrainians. He has already killed tens of thousands of civilians in Mariupol,'' he added. ``This requires a strong reaction from the entire world. We need to stop the genocide by any means possible.''
In a separate statement earlier Thursday, Boychenko alleged the Russians had dug huge trenches near Manhush, 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) west of Mariupol, and were ``hiding their war crimes'' by dumping bodies there.
On Thursday evening, Ukrainian media published satellite photos of Manhush, showing what they said were mass graves similar to although much larger in size from the ones discovered in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. The accuracy of these claims and images could not be immediately verified.