News

Russian Journalists Report 3rd Mass Grave Site Near Mariupol

Trenches containing deceased civilians were said to be hundreds of feet long.

Published Apr 25, 2022

Updated Apr 25, 2022
An excavator digs new graves in the special part of the cemetery for the civilian people killed since the start of Russian invasion on April 25, 2022 in Bucha, Kyiv region. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Image Via Getty Images

Russian investigative journalists reported a third mass grave site located near Mariupol, Ukraine, in late April 2022, after several other such locations had previously been spotted using satellite imagery.

Satellite images were shared to Twitter by the Russian news site Radio Svoboda, which is described by the U.S. news organization Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as a “multiplatform alternative to Russian state-controlled media” operating out of a Moscow bureau. They showed large trenches that have reportedly grown and been filled in over the last month since their initial sighting a month ago.

The above images were said to have been captured on April 24 by Planet Labs PBC., an American Earth imaging company based in San Francisco. Snopes contacted the company to confirm the details of the Radio Svoboda report, and was told that the images were authentic. A spokesperson told Snopes that the coordinates of the cemetery in the article are 47.13836° N, 37.48437° E.

According to the Radio Svoboda investigation, the trenches measured over 200 feet long, and are located near a cemetery in the Russian-occupied village of Stary Krym, about 3 miles from Mariupol. The publication reported that Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said that authorities “were aware” of the trenches, and that the Russian military was burying dead Ukrainian civilians in the cemetery.

"We know about these mass graves, because these fascists -- and I have no other words -- involve the local population for burial, for food. They told us that you need to work 'hours' to give you food, water… Now in Mariupol there is not enough humanities that they import, so people are forced to do so,” Boychenko reportedly said.

It appeared that the images were initially captured on March 24, and, in the month since, have noticeably increased.

Another possible mass grave site was reported on April 22, using satellite images by Maxar Technologies, as well as imagery that has showed alleged mass grave sites in Bucha and Manhush.


Sources:

Chen, Shawna. “Satellite Images Reveal Another Mass Grave Site near Mariupol.” Axios, 23 Apr. 2022, https://www.axios.com/ukraine-mariupol-mass-graves-df52140f-515b-4859-a42b-39139dbe137d.html.

“https://Twitter.Com/Cxemu/Status/1518605493685661697.” Twitter, https://twitter.com/cxemu/status/1518605493685661697. Accessed 25 Apr. 2022.

“https://Twitter.Com/Hromadske/Status/1518620392335847424.” Twitter, https://twitter.com/hromadske/status/1518620392335847424. Accessed 25 Apr. 2022.

“IN PHOTOS: Satellite Images Show 3-Mile-Long Russian Convoy Entering Ukraine.” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/news/2022/03/01/russia-military-convoy-ukraine/. Accessed 25 Apr. 2022.

“Planet | Homepage.” Planet, https://www.planet.com/. Accessed 25 Apr. 2022.

“Possible Mass Graves Near Mariupol As Russia Attacks in East.” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/ap/2022/04/22/possible-mass-graves-near-mariupol-as-russia-attacks-in-east-2/. Accessed 25 Apr. 2022.

“RFE/RL’s Russian Service: Radio Svoboda.” RFE/RL, https://pressroom.rferl.org/russian-service-radio-svoboda. Accessed 25 Apr. 2022.

Свобода, Радіо. “Супутник зафіксував вже третє місце масового поховання біля Маріуполя – «Схеми» (фото).” Радіо Свобода, 25 Apr. 2022. www.radiosvoboda.org, https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/news-skhemy-bratska-mohyla-staryy-krym/31820268.html.

Updates

Correction [April 25, 2022]: Original headline said "Ukrainian Journalists"; now corrected to "Russian Journalists."

Update [April 27, 2022]: Article was updated to include additional images and comments from Planet Labs PBC.

Madison Dapcevich is a former writer for Snopes.

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