Klitschko accuses Russian troops of using mobile crematoriums to hide atrocities

Footage emerges of lorries containing furnaces

Mr Klitschko, the brother of Kyiv's mayor and former boxer Vitali Klitschko, posted a picture of one of the lorries on Twitter. Photo: Wladimir Klitschko / Twitter
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Officials in Ukraine have accused Russia of covering up atrocities in the country by burning bodies in mobile crematoriums.

Footage has emerged of lorries containing furnaces which former boxer Wladimir Klitschko alleges are being used by Russian troops to “hide their crimes".

Mr Klitschko, the brother of Kyiv's mayor and former boxer Vitali Klitschko, posted a picture of one of the lorries on Twitter.

“Mobile crematorium. This is what #RussianWarCrimes use in Mariupol to hide their crimes,” he tweeted.

“The culmination of horror.

“In the face of such crimes, we can‘t afford to be weak.”

Mariupol City Council has also accused the Kremlin of ordering troops to “eliminate any evidence of crimes perpetrated by its army”.

“Murderers covering their tracks,” the city council wrote on Telegram. Mariupol’s mayor compared the scenes to “Nazi concentration camps”.

“The world has not seen anything like the tragedy in Mariupol since the existence of Nazi concentration camps,” Mariupol's mayor, Vadim Boichenko. said. “The Russians have turned our city into a death camp.”

It is estimated at least 5,000 people have died in the besieged port.

“One week ago, cautious estimates put the death toll at 5,000,” Mariupol City Council said.

“But given the size of the city, the catastrophic destruction there, the duration of the blockade and the fierce resistance, tens of thousands of civilians from Mariupol could have fallen victim to the occupiers.”

Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has previously raised concerns that lorries could be used to hide battlefield evidence.

He said that Russia used the tactic in 2014 when it invaded Crimea.

“Previously they’ve deployed mobile crematoriums to follow troops around the battlefield, which in anyone’s book is chilling,” he said.

On Thursday, Ukraine urged its residents in the east of the country to take their “last chance” to flee mounting Russian attacks, after devastation around the capital Kyiv shocked the world.

Six weeks after they invaded, Russian troops have withdrawn from Kyiv and Ukraine's north and are focusing on the south-east of the country, where desperate attempts are under way to evacuate civilians.

The retreat from Kyiv revealed scenes of carnage, including in the town of Bucha, that Ukraine said were evidence of Russian war crimes, and which triggered a fresh wave of western sanctions against Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia was undeterred and continued “to accumulate fighting force to realise their ill ambitions in [eastern] Donbas".

“They are preparing to resume an active offensive,” he said.

Updated: April 07, 2022, 12:55 PM