On the occasion of World Theater Day on Sunday, the German Deutsches Theater located in Berlin expressed its solidarity with the Ukrainian people, including the artists of the theater in the port city of Mariupol which was brutally attacked by Russian forces. Ukrainian actors, activists and diplomats wrote the word “children” in bold white paint in front of the building’s main entrance. “Today an art and solidarity action with Mariupol took place in front of the German theater,” the Ukrainian Embassy in Germany said in a Facebook post, adding that the act was symbolic as Berlin stood by Mariupol after the bombing of its academic drama theatre.
The Ukrainian Embassy released footage from the Deutsches Theater where actors, activists and diplomats painted the letters to commemorate and mourn the deaths of Ukrainians. When a Russian bomb destroyed the Academic Drama Theater in the heart of the beleaguered port city of Mariupol on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 16, 2022, it was the low point in the systematic and complete destruction by the Russian military “without no consideration for the civilian population,” Germany’s Deutsches Theater said on its official website.
“We want to counter this inhuman and unimaginable act with an evening that gives the city of Mariupol and its people a face and a voice.” In view of the shocking events unfolding in Ukraine, it is now more important than ever to strengthen the international community and work together for a peaceful and open society, he added.
“In solidarity with the theatre, where the children hid from the Russian bombings in Mariupol, where the children shouted and begged not to drop at least bombs there, writing this word in large letters visible from the top of the tunes. Unfortunately, this did not stop the enemy,” the Ukrainian Embassy in Berlin posted on its official Facebook.
Credit: Facebook/Embassy of Ukraine in Berlin
Series of events on 6 stages dedicated to the victims of the Mariupol theater bombing
A series of events were also organized by the Berlin theater on its six stages, dedicated to the victims of the Mariupol theater bombing. Nearly 300 people lost their lives in the deadly strikes and no less than 1,300 sought refuge in the air-raid shelter. Civilians used the theater as shelter against the series of attacks by the invading Russian forces on the besieged city. When the rocket hit the Mariupol theater, Russia used its Telegram channels to blame the Ukrainian army’s Azov Battalion for the adversity. Mariupol authorities estimated that at least 300 people were killed in the Russian bombing raids on the theatre.
The UN human rights team also reported spotting a mass grave of 200 people in the southern port city. “We have more and more information about the mass graves there,” said the head of the human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner, in a video link citing the imagery satellite as evidence. The head of the main operational directorate of the Russian general staff, Sergei Rudskoi, meanwhile announced after the attack that Ukraine was reducing its armed forces. “The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced, which makes it possible to focus our efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbass,” he announced.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later said in the recorded video that “hundreds” of people who had taken refuge in a theater in Mariupol were trapped under the rubble. At least 130 people have so far been found alive, he added. He also blamed heavy shelling by Russian forces that had blocked the safe evacuation of civilians through effective humanitarian corridors. Human rights monitors sounded the alarm when Mariupol citizens were left with the last supplies of food and water. The theater housed mainly women and children.