Mariupol officials: Russia preventing civilian burials in 'new level of cleansing'

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Mariupol’s City Council is warning Friday that Russia’s military is carrying out a “new level of cleansing” in the besieged Ukrainian city by not allowing residents to bury deceased civilians. 

In a Telegram post citing locals still trapped there, the officials also said “Russian troops have begun the process of exhuming bodies that were previously buried in the yards of residential buildings.” 

“A new level of ‘cleansing’ of the occupiers,” the post said. “The occupiers forbid the burial of people killed by them. In each yard they put their own overseer.”  


A building damaged during fighting is seen in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Wednesday.


A building damaged during fighting is seen in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Wednesday.

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“It is unknown why the exhumation will take place and where the bodies will be sent,” the city council added. 

The council continued by saying “given that Ukrainian intelligence has recorded 13 mobile crematoria in Mariupol, it is possible to assume that the Russian occupation forces are trying in every way to replace the traces of their war crimes in our city. 


An armed serviceman of Donetsk People's Republic militia walks past a building damaged during fighting in Mariupol on Wednesday.


An armed serviceman of Donetsk People’s Republic militia walks past a building damaged during fighting in Mariupol on Wednesday.
(AP/Alexei Alexandrov)

“But they will not succeed, the whole world is already recording numerous crimes of the Russian army in Mariupol,” the post concluded. “Every criminal will be punished!” 

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Emergency workers remove debris of a building destroyed in the course of the Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol on Sunday. 

Emergency workers remove debris of a building destroyed in the course of the Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol on Sunday. 
(REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Mariupol’s City Council said earlier this month that “Russia’s top leadership ordered the destruction of any evidence of crimes committed by its army in Mariupol.” 

The claims could not be immediately independently verified. 

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report. 

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