New mass graves discovered in Russian-occupied Mariupol - report

Ukrainian media sources also assert that thousands of bodies still remain under the rubble of destroyed buildings, unaccounted for. 

Smoke rises above Azovstal steelworks, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this still image obtained from a recent drone video posted on social media. (photo credit: MARIUPOL CITY COUNCIL/VIA REUTERS)
Smoke rises above Azovstal steelworks, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this still image obtained from a recent drone video posted on social media.
(photo credit: MARIUPOL CITY COUNCIL/VIA REUTERS)

Russian forces have reportedly killed at least 16,000 residents of Mariupol since mid-April and buried them in mass graves in Stary Krym, Mangush and Vynohradne, according to a Telegram post by the Mariupol City Council on Monday.

The post added that 5,000 more people were buried by public utility employees in March.

Allegedly, the Russians have created an additional 25 mass grave sites at the Old Crimean Cemetery; the bodies were reportedly placed one on top of another and then marked with individual grave markers to give the appearance of normal cemetery plots.

 A local resident rides a scooter near a destroyed shopping mall in Mariupol. (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO) A local resident rides a scooter near a destroyed shopping mall in Mariupol. (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

The post added that thousands of bodies still remain under the rubble of destroyed buildings, unaccounted for.

"We estimated the death toll in Mariupol at 22,000."

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko

"We estimated the death toll in Mariupol at 22,000," Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said. "But more and more facts show that the consequences of the racist crime are much worse. This needs special attention of the world community, as well as the terrible situation of the local population in the occupation."