Photos chronicle of the devastation of Mariupol

The battle for the port city of Mariupol has been going on for weeks, with much of it destroyed. Mariupol is strategically important as it connects Russian-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine with a Moscow-captured area to the south.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces continue to encircle the city, fighting block by block to gain control. A United Nations case study of the Livoberezhnyi district on the eastern edge of Mariupol shows how devastating the attack on the residential area was, which can also be seen in the drone footage above. The analysis compares a satellite image of the city from June 21, 2021 to March 14. At least 433 buildings in the study area were damaged or destroyed.

Territories that Russia claims to control

Controlled

of or allied

to Russia

Building damage report on March 14th

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Territories that Russia claims to control

Building damage report on March 14th

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Territories that Russia claims to control

Building damage report on March 14th

Drone video footage released on March 23 by the Azov Battalion, a far-right group, shows several damaged high-rise apartment buildings in Livoberezhnyi, some with smoke still billowing from them.

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A screenshot from video released by the Azov Battalion shows the destruction in Mariupol last week.


Photo:

Azov Battalion via Storyful

East of Livoberezhnyi and near the city center, a Russian airstrike hit a maternity hospital on March 9, killing three people and wounding 17, the mayor said. A wide, deep crater was visible, with evidence that the blast, which took place around 5 p.m. local time, toppled trees and set cars on fire.

A week later, at least 300 people were killed in the Drama Theater bombed by Russian forces. About 1,000 civilians had found refuge there. Ukrainians wrote “CHILDREN” in Russian in front of the theater to make it visible from the air and protect it from attack. Days later, an art school in the district that sheltered about 400 Mariupol residents, including women and children, was also attacked.

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The Playhouse on March 14th.


Photo:

MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES/REUTERS

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The theater on the 19th


Photo:

MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES/Associated Press

The bombardment of the city, which has a population of 350,000 to 400,000, grew stronger and closer by the day. Local officials say Russia rained 50 to 100 bombs a day on Mariupol, destroying 80 to 90 percent of the city. Those left behind in the city are under constant fire “in a complete blockade” without food, water or medicine, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

As Russian forces bombarded Mariupol with airstrikes and artillery, the city became a symbol of tough Ukrainian resistance and the suffering of civilians. Thousands of city residents have fled and thousands have been killed, some buried in mass graves, officials said.

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People dug a grave in Mariupol on March 20.


Photo:

ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/REUTERS

write to Max Rust at max.rust@dowjones.com and Alexander Cohn at alexander.cohn@wsj.com

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/photos-chronicle-the-devastation-of-mariupol-11648373400 Photos chronicle of the devastation of Mariupol

Ethan Gach

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