Seven people killed in Russian attack on Catholic aid organisation Mariupol


Eastern Europe


Photo EPA, Sergei Ilnitsky

Seven people were killed when a Russian tank fired on an office of the Catholic help organisation Caritas in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Two others were forcibly taken to Russia.

This reports the Ukrainian branch of Caritas via Twitter. The attack happened on March 15th, but the news only came out this week. According to Caritas Ukraine, people in the building were hiding from the shelling at the time of the incident. The victims are two female staff members of the Caritas office and their family members. This reports the Italian magazine Vita International.

According to Rostyslav Spryniuk, director of Caritas in Mariupol, two of his workers were forcibly transported to Russia. “The Russian soldiers call it ‘voluntary evacuation’ but when the evacuation is under the threat of machine guns, it cannot be called ‘voluntary’”, Spryniuk says to Vita.


Spryniuk says that the two abducted workers were in another building of the Caritas complex. “They were saved because they were under the stairs. They were covered in rubble but managed to dig their way out. We cannot reveal their names to not put them in danger.”

“The deaths of civilians and our humanitarian workers who have committed themselves unconditionally to others leave us speechless. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims”, the Caritas statement reads.

The international Caritas organisation announced that aid would continue unabated in the other hard-fought cities such as Kramatorsk, Zaporizhzhya and in the capital Kyiv, where it will remain quiet for the time being. According to the aid organisation, attention will initially be paid to care for the elderly, the sick and children, who are the hardest hit. This reports the Christian Belgium news website Kerknet.



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