The authors of the report estimate that approximately 1000 new graves are observable in Mariupol over a five-month period, between October 21, 2021 and March 28, 2022 .
Analysis of satellite and social media photographs reveals a sharp increase in the number of burials in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, including Mariupol, according to a report released Friday by an NGO.
The Center for Information Resilience (CIR), a non-governmental organization that fights disinformation, analyzed six areas that were or still are in Russian hands in Ukraine.
Open-source information can provide unprecedented access behind the front lines and to areas occupied by Russian forces, says CIR Director of Investigation Benjamin Strick.
At the Starokrymske Cemetery in Mariupol (southeast), for example, the authors of the report estimate that around 1,000 new graves are observable over a period of five months, between October 21, 2021 and March 28, 2022 – one month after the start of the war.
The pace of burials then increased sharply with 1,141 new graves visible in satellite images between March 28 and May 12 and more than 1,700 more between May 12 and June 29, according to the report's authors.
< p class="e-p">Our report illustrates the extreme, continuous pressure exerted on civilian life in Ukraine, continues Benjamin Strick, for whom the improvised burials and the growing number of graves, especially in and around the occupied areas, are a stark illustration of the number of civilian deaths. .
To arrive at these figures, the researchers crossed satellite images with geolocated data, in particular from social media.
Their images also revealed large trenches at two sites near Mariupol, in Pionerske and Mangush, as well as hastily dug graves around the town.
Ukraine estimates that 22,000 civilians died in Mariupol, the scene of the heaviest fighting of the war so far.
In Kherson, a southern city also conquered by the Russians, CIR estimates 824 graves dug between outbreak of war and early April he.
The United Nations human rights office estimates the number of civilians killed in Ukraine at 5,000, but acknowledges that the true toll is probably much higher.
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