UN says more than 1,300 civilians killed in Mariupol — but true toll “likely thousands higher”

Mick Krever

At least 1,348 civilians were killed during the battle of Mariupol, including 70 children, a top United Nations official said on Thursday.

“The actual death toll of hostilities on civilians is likely thousands higher,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.
“These deaths were caused by airstrikes, tank and artillery shelling and small arms and light weapons during street fighting.”

As many as 90% of residential buildings have been damaged or destroyed in the southern city, Bachelet said. She called Mariupol “likely the deadliest place in Ukraine” from the start of the war through April.

Bodies have been found in improvised individual or collective graves in yards, streets, and parks, in unattended houses and apartments. Many are still to be buried,” she said.

Bachelet added that right now it is “impossible to know” the exact death toll.

“Until all dead bodies are recovered and identified, and their status, whether military or civilian, and the exact causes of death established, it will be impossible to know an accurate number of civilian deaths directly caused by hostilities, and those caused by a lack of food, water, medical care and other effects of living through the hostilities,” she said.

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