Alarming concerns over Russian abuses against Mariupol defenders

Alarming concerns over Russian abuses against Mariupol defenders. Hundreds of Ukrainian fighters had held out for months under relentless bombardment.

The US has gathered intelligence that shows some Russian officials have become concerned that Russian forces in the ravaged port city of Mariupol are carrying out grievous abuses, a US official said Wednesday.

Hundreds of the fighters had held out for months under relentless bombardment in the last bastion of resistance in the devastated city.

The city of Mariupol has been reduced to rubble and has seen some of the most intense fighting of the war so far.

The first war crimes trial since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine set to begin in Kyiv

Concerns over Russian abuses

The Russian officials are concerned that the abuses will backfire and further inspire Mariupol residents to resist the Russian occupation.

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The US official, who was not authorised to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the Russians also feared concerns over Russian abuses will undercut Russia’s claim that they’ve liberated the city.

The abuses include beating and electrocuting city officials and robbing homes, according to the intelligence finding.

The new intelligence has been declassified and was shared by a US official as some of the last Ukrainian fighters in the devastated city emerged from the ruined Azovstal steelworks.

The fighters were ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now-flattened port city and face an uncertain fate.

Abuses against Mariupol defenders

The Ukrainian fighters who emerged from the ruined Azovstal steelworks after being ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now-flattened port city face an uncertain fate.

Some were taken by the Russians to a former penal colony in territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. While Ukraine said it hopes to get the soldiers back in a prisoner swap, Russia threatened to put some of them on trial for war crimes.

Meanwhile, the first captured Russian soldier to be put on trial by Ukraine on war-crimes charges pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing a civilian and could face life in prison.

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