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US intelligence shows Russians fear abuse of Mariupol will backfire

WASHINGTON “The United States has gathered intelligence showing that some Russian officials are concerned that Russian forces in the devastated port city of Mariupol are committing serious abuses,” said a U.S. official familiar with Wednesday’s findings.

Russian authorities are concerned that the abuses will have the opposite effect and will further inspire Mariupol residents to oppose the Russian occupation. The U.S. official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said unidentified Russians also feared that the abuses would undermine Russia’s claim to liberate the Russian-speaking city.

According to intelligence findings, the abuses include beatings and electric shocks to city officials and looting of homes.

The new intelligence was declassified and shared by a US official as some of the last Ukrainian fighters in the devastated city emerged from the shattered Azovstal steel production. The fighters were ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now-compared port city and face an uncertain fate.

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Hundreds of fighters endured months of relentless bombing in the last stronghold of resistance in the devastated city.

The city has been reduced to rubble and has seen some of the most intense battles of the war.

The seaside town caught the world’s attention after a Russian airstrike on March 9 on a maternity hospital and then another airstrike a week later on a theater that served as the city’s largest bomb shelter. In the theater, the word “CHILDREN” was written in Russian on the outside sidewalk to prevent an attack. Nearly 600 people were killed inside and outside the theater, according to some estimates.

The extent of the alleged abuse gathered in the US intelligence finding was unclear, but it comes after widespread human rights abuses in and around Bucha and the suburbs of Kyiv.

Evidence of the Bucha massacre emerged early last month after Russian forces withdrew from the city. (Photos and video from Bucha show corpses piled up in trenches, lifeless limbs protruding from hastily excavated graves, and corpses scattered in the streets where they fell.

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Meanwhile, the first captured Russian soldier to be tried by Ukraine on war crimes charges has pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing a civilian and could face up to life in prison.

Russian Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old member of a tank unit, pleaded guilty to shooting an unarmed 62-year-old Ukrainian in the head through a car window in the early days of the war. Ukraine’s chief prosecutor says about 40 more war crimes cases are being prepared.

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US intelligence shows Russians fear abuse of Mariupol will backfire

Source link US intelligence shows Russians fear abuse of Mariupol will backfire

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