We don’t often see pictures from inside Mariupol. And we don’t often see photographs of Russian soldiers.
Friday, our war in Ukraine curation takes us inside this battered city in southern Ukraine, where Russian soldiers now patrol many neighborhoods. As we write, depending who one believes, the Russians have taken effective control of the city (the Russian version), or the last few thousand Ukrainian soldiers are holding out and holding on (the Ukrainian version). Either way, it is a desperate situation for the Ukrainians still there.
Mariupol was a thriving port city on the Sea of Azov, home before the war to more than 400,000 people. Today, its name is synonymous with brutality and assaults on civilians; there are reports of mass graves having been dug for the victims. Mariupol’s mayor said more than 10,000 of his city’s residents have been killed.
The photos capture a bleak landscape: the battered buildings, charred vehicles and heaps of refuse. Even the trees are damaged. And apart from the soldiers, you can see pockets of civilians doing what they can to get through the day.