The United States has gathered intelligence that shows some Russian officials are concerned that Russian forces in the ravaged port city of Mariupol are committing serious abuses, a U.S. official with knowledge of the findings said Wednesday.
Russian officials fear the abuses will backfire and further incite Mariupol residents to resist the. The US official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Russians, who have not been identified, were also concerned that the abuses could undermine the assertion of the Russia that they liberated the Russian-speaking city.
The abuses include the beating and electrocution of city officials and the theft of homes, according to the intelligence findings.
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. The fighters have been ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now razed port city and face an uncertain fate.
Hundreds of fighters had held out for months under relentless bombardment in the last bastion of resistance in the devastated city.
The city was reduced to rubble and saw some of the most intense fighting of the war.
The seaside town caught the world’s attention after a Russian airstrike on March 9 on athen after another airstrike a week later on a which served as the largest bomb shelter in the city. At the theater, the word “CHILDREN” was written in Russian on the pavement outside to deter an attack. Nearly 600 people were killed, inside and outside the theater, according to some estimates.
The extent of the alleged abuse gleaned from US intelligence findings was unclear, but it follows widespread human rights abuses in and around Bucha and the Kyiv suburbs.
emerged early last month after Russian forces withdrew from the city. Photographs and videos from Bucha showed body bags stacked in trenches, lifeless limbs protruding from hastily dug graves and corpses strewn across the streets where they fell.
Meanwhile, the first captured Russian soldier to beby Ukraine for war crimes pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing a civilian and faces life in prison.
Russian Sergeant. Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old member of a tank unit, pleaded guilty to shooting a 62-year-old unarmed Ukrainian in the head through a car window in the early days of the war. Ukraine’s chief prosecutor said about 40 more war crimes cases were being prepared.