Russia Strikes Ukraine Port City Of Mariupol, Hits Mosque Sheltering People

(Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Bryan Babb Contributor
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Russian forces struck the area surrounding the Sultan Suleiman Mosque, which was sheltering people, while shelling the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol Saturday.

Over 80 people, including children, were taking shelter in the Mariupol mosque, according to the Associated Press. A casualty report of the shelling was not immediately released, though the Ukrainian government stated that the mosque suffered a direct hit, the outlet reported. A man who says he is the mosque association’s vice president stated in an unverified Instagram post that the bomb struck an area about 750 yards away from the mosque itself, according to the outlet.

Mariupol is home to roughly 400,000 people and has been encircled and pounded by Russian forces for over a week. Russia struck a children’s hospital in the city Wednesday, in an airstrike which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an “atrocity.”

During a break in the strikes, Mariupol authorities dug a 25-yard trench that they used as a mass grave. The majority of the bodies buried in the grave were civilians. (RELATED: Group Of Ukrainians Gather To Kneel, Pray As Russia Bombs Their Country)

Attempts to provide humanitarian aid to Mariupol have constantly been interrupted by Russian shelling. Citizens have been unable to receive food and water from outside Mariupol. Additionally, citizens have had little opportunity to evacuate the city due to the Russian strikes.