Mariupol mayor says 20,000 civilians dead as second mass grave exhumed in Bucha

ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith reports on the bleak situation in Mariupol and on how world leaders have reacted to the mounting evidence of atrocities committed by Russia

The mayor of Mariupol has said the latest estimates suggest that more than 20,000 civilians have been killed in the besieged Ukrainian city since Russia began its attacks seven weeks ago.

It comes as European experts confirmed at least one war crime has been committed in Ukraine.

In a damning report, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) found that those behind an attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol in early March had carried out a war crime.

A pregnant woman and her baby were among those who were killed after a Russian air strike hit the hospital.

Ukrainian soldiers and emergency employees work outside the maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol. Credit: AP

Referencing the assault, the OSCE report, which found "clear patterns" of violations by Russian forces during the war, said: "No effective warning was given and no time-limit set."

"This attack therefore constitutes a clear violation of IHL (International Humanitarian Law) and those responsible for it have committed a war crime."

The OSCE had reviewed evidence and concluded that the hospital was destroyed in a Russian attack.

"Based upon Russian explanations, the attack must have been deliberate," the report read.

What is likely going to happen when Russia refocuses its troops in the east of Ukraine? ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo reports live from Kyiv

The findings came after it was reported that Ukrainian forces in the region were losing their foothold and running out of ammunition.

Officials had announced that they would lose the city to Russian forces within 24 hours, but it has been 48 hours since those claims were made. Russia on Wednesday said more than 1,000 Ukrainian troops had surrendered in the port, but Ukraine did not comment on the claim.

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The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — all NATO countries that worry they may face Russian attack in the future if Ukraine falls — travelled by train to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In the past seven weeks, potentially thousands of Russian fighters have died, millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee and the rest of the world has been hit economically.


Just days after multiple atrocities in Bucha were investigated by ITV News, another mass grave has been unearthed in the town.

The mayor of Bucha has said that at least 400 bodies have been found.

Anatoliy Fedoruk warned this figure would likely grow, as the extent of the atrocities committed in Bucha, a town near Kyiv, continues to be revealed since its recapture by Ukrainian forces some two weeks ago.

Mr Fedoruk, who has said that at least three sites of mass shootings of civilians have been unearthed by investigators, added that it was too early for residents to return to the town.

A wealthy northwest Kyiv commuter town before Ukraine was invaded over six weeks ago, the name of Bucha is now synonymous with Russian war crimes.

New atrocities perpetuated by Russian troops are being discovered everyday that the war continues.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden dubbed Russia's invasion of Ukraine as "genocide."

Going on to call Putin a "war criminal" and a "parasite", Biden said the Russian president was trying “wipe out the idea of even being a Ukrainian.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has distanced himself from claims of genocide, but has agreed that what has happened across Ukraine constitutes a war crime.

Mr Macron stated that Russia and Ukraine are like brothers, and outside nations shouldn't be ramping up the rhetoric if peace is to remain an option.

However, ITV News correspondent Peter Smith said the perception from reporting in Ukraine is that there aren't many Ukrainians who see Russia as their 'brother'.

ITV News has investigated three separate atrocities in Bucha which give a sense of the widespread, indiscriminate murder being carried out by the Russian army. Warning: This video footage and images of dead bodies and scenes showing the aftermath of torture.

This video contains distressing images

Britain has announced a new round of sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, targeting 178 individuals who have helped prop up Kremlin-backed breakaway regions in the eastern part of the country.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Wednesday that the sanctions were coordinated with the European Union. The move comes after rocket attacks that targeted civilians in eastern Ukraine.

Those sanctioned include Alexander Ananchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and Sergey Kozlov, the chair of government in the Luhansk People’s Republic.

Also targeted are Pavel Ezubov, cousin of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, and Nigina Zairova, executive assistant to Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman.

Truss says Britain is sanctioning "those who prop up the illegal breakaway regions and are complicit in atrocities against the Ukrainian people. We will continue to target all those who aid and abet Putin’s war."