Amid Heavy Shelling, Ukraine’s Mariupol City Uses Mass Grave

Amid Heavy Shelling, Ukraine's Mariupol City Uses Mass Grave

The bodies piling up as the Russian military has marched nine days to take Mariupol, the 430,000-person port city in southeastern Ukraine, under siege. Local authorities have been hurrying to bury the dead in mass graves.

During a deep trench that ran some 25 meters (80 feet) long on the outskirts of the city, workers made quick signs of the cross while pushing bodies wrapped in carpets or bags into the trench.

Since the common grave was opened on Tuesday, more than 70 bodies have been buried there.

An AP journalist who visited the cemetery estimated at least half of those buried were killed by shelling during the city’s intense bombardment.

The bodies of others who died at home under natural circumstances could not be collected or buried because authorities were unable to arrange for their collection.

During the minus 9 degree Celsius (15 degree Fahrenheit) low temperatures, residents are staying in shelters as much as possible.

In the past 48 hours, there have been at least eight major airstrikes in Mariupol, including attacks on the central fire department and a children’s hospital.

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