Ukrainian intelligence- Russia is preparing a "fake investigation" into the Mariupol Drama Theater they bombed to blame Ukraine
Russia strategically bombed civilians hiding in the Mariupol drama theater and now want to blame Ukraine
Evidence from an Associated Press investigation suggests that close to 600 people died in the Russian airstrike on the Mariupol drama theater on March 16. That’s around twice the city government’s estimate of 300 in the deadliest single known attack against civilians in the Ukraine war. Russia immediately began a disinformation campaign in media and social media, denying its responsibility, despite there being plenty of evidence and eyewitness accounts showing that it was a Russian missile strike that killed people seeking shelter in the drama theater.
The Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine is warning on their Telegram channel that Russia is preparing a “fake investigation” to blame Ukraine for the bombing.
“The occupiers are preparing for publication their own pseudo-investigation into the circumstances of the bomb attack on the Mariupol drama theater. The purpose of such an event is to try to remove responsibility for the killing of several hundred civilians who were hiding in the theater at the time of the attack. Most of them are women and children.
Ukrainian intelligence also warned that “currently, the occupiers, with the help of several film crews of Russian TV channels, are preparing staged videos that are supposed to "prove" that the explosion in the Mariupol Drama Theater took place inside the premises. All the destruction took place, apparently "as a result of the detonation of a large amount of explosives,” and the number of victims was no more than 14 people.”
“Russian propagandists even found so-called "witnesses" who saw how "people in military uniforms brought boxes" inside the building the day before.”
According to The Insider, Aleksey Kutsurubenko, head of the investigative department of the ‘DNR General Prosecutor’s Office,’ had already voiced the version that the explosion in the drama theater “occurred from within through the fault of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” a non-enveloped device allegedly exploded in the building, as a result of which 14 people died. However, he confirmed that a large number of civilians were initially hiding in the drama theater.
Kutsurubenko told RIA Novosti that all these residents allegedly left the theater before the Russian strike. At the same time, back in May, it became known that the Russian military could have removed some of the human remains from the site of the airstrike in order to hide the number of victims.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International released a report in June, stating that after an extensive investigation, they believe Russia’s bombing of the theater constituted a war crime and that Russia deliberately targeted the theater knowing civilians were sheltering inside and despite locals writing in large Cyrillic letters, “Дети” – Russian for “children” – on forecourts on either side of the building, which would have been clearly visible to Russian pilots and also on satellite imagery.
“After months of rigorous investigation, analysis of satellite imagery, and interviews with dozens of witnesses, we concluded that the strike was a clear war crime committed by Russian forces,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
Ukraine’s intelligence said that “the bombing of the Mariupol drama theater was and remains one of the most terrible war crimes committed by the Russian occupiers during the war they unleashed. Russian planes dropped two 500-kilogram aerial bombs on the premises of the theater. At the time of the attack, up to 1,000 civilians were in it. The vast majority of them are women and children who were hiding from Russian shelling.”
Russia is known for fabricating investigations, releasing fake videos and news, and finding ‘witnesses’ to corroborate their lies. We have seen them continuously use this same playbook in Ukraine, Syria, and wherever their forces commit war crimes and atrocities.