Ukraine’s theatre of horror as officials in Mariupol city compile the grim death toll and Russian TV makes nuclear war threats amid more warnings of possible chemical attack
Council officials in the port city of Mariupol city used eyewitness reports after the March 16 bombings to compile the grim toll.
The announcement was made as Russian state TV made nuclear war threats amid more warnings about Moscow preparing for a possible chemical attack.
There are 100,000 people still trapped in Mariupol, which is 90% destroyed after being pulverised by air and artillery strikes, and is now surrounded by Russian forces.
The council added there had been “more and more deaths from starvation” in the city, cut off from water and electricity for weeks.
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There was no news of another 600 people thought to be in the rubble at the Drama Theatre or 400 at a bombed maternity hospital.
Ukraine said yesterday Russia ’s troop losses by day 30 of the war had reached around 16,000.
A Western official said 20 of the 115 to 120 battalions Russia started with were no longer “combat effective”.
Moscow is believed to have lost 115 warplanes, 125 helicopters, 561 tanks and five warships.
One Russian colonel was deliberately mown down and killed by one of his own tanks as “a consequence of the losses taken by his brigade”, Western officials said yesterday.
Yuri Medvechek led the Russian 37th Motor Rifle Brigade. And Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev, 48, comm-ander of the 49th combined arms division, became the fifth Russian general killed – from Ukrainian shelling.
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Multiple sources working with Ukraine’s InformNapalm intelligence organisation warned Russia could launch a sarin gas chemical attack.
Pro-Kremlin Channel 1 TV host Vyacheslav Nikonov claimed Russians on the Ukraine-Poland border had seen a build-up of US and Polish troops, for a peacekeeping mission.
Military commentator Colonel Yury Knutov warned that would be a declaration of war, adding: “To win we will have to use tactical nuclear weapons.”
In Kharkiv, in the north east, six people were killed and 17 were injured in an overnight airstrike.
Another six died and 15 were hurt in a rocket attack on an aid queue on Thursday.
The city of Korosten, in the north, has strengthened defences after NATO warned that Russian ally Belarus is “likely” to be preparing to launch an offensive.
A senior US official said Russia is now prioritising taking Donbas, in the east, in what could be an effort to build leverage in negotiations.