Ukraine’s first war crimes trial for Russian soldier opens in Kyiv

Satellite image showing cranes and vehicles at the Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine on May 12. (Maxar Technologies)

A thorough search of the bombed-out Mariupol Drama Theater is still underway, new satellite images from Maxar Technologies show.

The area is now under Russian control and clearing of battle debris is underway in several parts of the city. The site was bombed on March 16 and Ukrainian officials believe at least 300 people sheltering in the building were killed.

On April 29, a satellite image showed a crane on the side of the building. The sidewalks on the north and south sides of the drama theatre, which had been covered in debris from the bombardment, were then cleared.

This satellite image shows the Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine on April 29.
This satellite image shows the Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine on April 29. (Maxar Technologies)

In a satellite image from May 2, the crane was behind the drama theatre. Trucks were parked out front, but the image does not reveal what their purpose was.

Then, in a satellite image taken on May 6, even more activity is seen at the theater. The crane is seen sitting next to the large hole in the theater’s roof, the likely epicenter of the explosion that ripped through the building.

More trucks are seen outside and around the building. Some trucks are parked above the large sign for children in Cyrillic, written before the bombing to deter Russian attacks.

On May 12, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Donetsk People's Republic clear rubble next to the damaged Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine.
Employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Donetsk People’s Republic clear rubble next to the damaged Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 12. (AP)

CNN has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment on the digs.

When it was bombed, the drama theater served as a shelter for women, children and the elderly.

The Ukrainian government accused the Russians of carrying out an airstrike on the theater. Russia has repeatedly denied hitting the theater and claimed without providing evidence that the Azov Regiment – ​​one of the Ukrainian army units in Mariupol – blew it up.

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