Mariupol theatre demolished ‘to hide Russian crimes’, aide says

russia destroys

Russian authorities have started destroying the ruined theatre in Mariupol, according to an aide to the city’s exiled Ukrainian mayor. Petro Andryushchenko accused the occupying authorities of seeking to cover up the murder of hundreds of civilians when the building was bombed by Russian warplanes in March. A screen was recently erected around the ruined theatre. Video showed a bulldozer knocking down some of the rear of the building. Mr Andryushchenko said the Russians were planning to leave the front of the theatre intact and destroy the rest of the structure, to build a new theatre “on the bones of Mariupol’s people”. A screen was erected around the ruins of the theatre last month, complete with images of Russian cultural figures. Before Russia invaded Ukraine last February and laid siege to Mariupol, the theatre was a focal point of city life. This year, Russia’s proxy authority that runs the city and the occupied areas of the surrounding Donetsk region has promised the city’s remaining population alternative entertainment – a revival of a 1960s Soviet cult musical, The Bremen Town Musicians.(BBC)…[+]