Ukrainian officers have accused the identical high-ranking Russian navy chief of many of the war’s worst atrocities, together with the lethal airstrike at a maternity hospital — dubbing him “the Butcher of Mariupol.”
“Remember him. This is Mikhail Mizintsev,” tweeted the head of Ukraine’s Centre for Civil Liberties, Oleksandra Matviichuk, whereas posting a photograph of the colonel-general who heads Russia’s National Defense Control Center.
“He is leading the siege of Mariupol,” she mentioned of town that has been practically worn out by virtually fixed airstrikes.
“It was he who ordered the bombing of a children’s hospital, the drama theatre etc.,” she insisted of two of the worst assaults, each broadly condemned as war crimes.
In the primary, a maternity hospital was blown up, killing kids and pregnant girls, together with one who was seen being stretchered away in agony. In the second, airstrikes destroyed a theater that native officers mentioned was a shelter for greater than 1,000 civilians, largely the younger and the previous — with “CHILDREN” clearly marked outdoors in Russian.
Rescue operations have been thwarted by virtually fixed airstrikes — together with on these attempting to go away by way of so-called humanitarian corridors that Mizintsev had personally promised.
Instead, the once-beautiful metropolis of 430,000 has been pulverized right into a “freezing hellscape riddled with dead bodies and destroyed buildings,” based on Human Rights Watch.
Mizintsev “has huge experience of destroying cities in Syria,” mentioned Matviichuk, whereas vowing to “take care” of him in a war crimes trial in The Hague.
A Ukrainian navy spokesman, Sergey Bratchuk, additionally insisted that the continued assault on Mariupol was “personally controlled” by Mizintsev.
“This is [who] ordered to bomb the maternity hospital, children’s hospital, drama theater, civilians’ homes. This is him destroying Mariupol, as he used to destroy Syrian cities,” Bratchuk wrote on Facebook.
Former Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba additionally recognized Mizintsev — calling him “the butcher of Mariupol.”
Scherba, Ukraine’s former ambassador to Austria, shared an intercepted audio clip that he caught allegedly of the so-called “butcher” calling a junior officer “scum” for not carrying his uniform.
“Why isn’t his face not messed up yet? Why aren’t his ears cut off? Why wasn’t he beat with a bottle at night? Huh, comrade Scum?” the ex-diplomat wrote of the alleged caught-on-tape trade.
The Kremlin has not mentioned who ordered particular person assaults, which it claims have by no means focused civilians, regardless of overwhelming proof.
Officials have claimed the bloodied pregnant girls have been disaster actors, and that each the maternity hospital and drama theater have been actually housing neo-Nazi troops.
Mizintsev has, nevertheless, been confirmed as enjoying a number one function in operations in Mariupol, the place he blames Ukrainian troops for creating “a terrible humanitarian catastrophe.”
On Sunday, he had promised “all those who lay down arms will be guaranteed a safe exit from Mariupol,” a proposal that Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk rejected as “manipulation.”
“There can be no talk about surrender and laying down weapons,” Vereshchuk mentioned.