UNFOUNDED: Azov mined the basement with civilians trying to use humanitarian corridors and evacuate from Mariupol

UNFOUNDED: Azov mined the basement with civilians trying to use humanitarian corridors and evacuate from Mariupol

29 April 2022
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Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

There is information, spread on social networks  that allegedly in early March, soldiers of the Azov Regiment mined a basement with civilians in Mariupol. The Ukrainian military allegedly forcibly detained more than 60 civilians in the basement and premises of school №34 on Gastello Street, bldg. 17.

“All civilians who tried to leave the city with help of the provided humanitarian corridors are forcibly taken to the school,” the so-called DPR People’s Militia said on March 2. It is claimed that the military people of Azov are allegedly going to blow up the premises with people if russian troops enter Mariupol – and they blame russia for this.

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This is a fake. It is not the first time that russian troops and russian-controlled militants have thrown fakes about alleged mining of Ukrainian military facilities, which they later fired on themselves. For example, the same situation was with the case with the Sumykhimprom plant in Sumy.

First, the evacuation from Mariupol is carried out only by the Ukrainian side. And on March 2, there were no humanitarian corridors.

For the first time, the opening of a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol with russia was agreed on March 5 . But even then, russia continued to fight in the direction of Mariupol-Zaporizhia and disrupted the evacuation of the population. Therefore, no humanitarian corridors have been announced on March 2.

The russian military is not carrying out an evacuation. This is the forcible removal of people to the temporarily occupied territories and the territory of the russian federation, which contradicts the norms of international humanitarian law. More details in this article .

What did actually happen on March 2?

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said that March 2 was “the hardest and most brutal day for the city in all 7 days of the war,” and russian troops “just wanted to destroy” Mariupol.

As of 3 p.m. on March 2, Mariupol had been under fire by the russian military for 14 hours, during which 42 civilians were wounded.

“Unfortunately, critical infrastructure has been damaged again. We are without light again. We are without water again. We are left without heat,”Boychenko said of the results of the russian shelling.

It is the russian military that is destroying houses and infrastructure, constantly shelling Mariupol. This is confirmed by satellite images

The March 29 satellite images of Maxar Technologies show the ruins of high-rise buildings, as well as the Mariupol Drama Theater, where hundreds of people  were killed in an air strike. The pictures also show russian artillery batteries at a firing position near Talakivka, northeast of Mariupol.

Russian troops and armored vehicles with tanks and artillery in residential areas along the east and northeast of the city and around them. Source – Satellite image © 2022 Maxar Technologies

The district of Mariupol was destroyed by russian shelling. Source – Satellite image © 2022 Maxar Technologies

The Mariupol Drama Theater was destroyed. Source – Satellite image © 2022 Maxar Technologies

As of April 4, 90% of Mariupol’s infrastructure was destroyed, 60% – with direct hit by enemy’s artillery or aircraft. 40% is non-refundable. “Unfortunately, Mariupol has been brutally destroyed since the fifth day. They fire from everything they can – “Howitzers”, volley fire systems, “Grads”, “Tornadoes”, “Hurricanes”, flamethrowers “Pinocchio”. Enemy planes arrived on the 10th day of the war. They dropped bombs, destroyed the city,” said Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko.

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The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations