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Russia’s “terror” unleashed on the city of Mariupol, Ukraine, this month will be “remembered for centuries to come,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy predicted Sunday.
Zelensky’s remarks came in his latest video statement to Ukraine’s citizens, The Associated Press reported.
The remarks coincided with Sunday reports that Russian forces had destroyed an art school building in Mariupol where as many as 400 people were believed to have sought shelter.
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No immediate estimates emerged on possible casualties but local officials said about 130 people had been rescued and more could remain under the rubble, the AP reported.
“To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centures to come,” Zelenskyy said, according to the report.
Previously in Mariupol, a theater being used as a shelter also was bombed – despite the message “Children” in Russian posted outside as a plea for the site to be spared.
Zelenskyy also claimed that Russian fighters were not stopping to recover the bodies of their own dead troops in some areas of Ukraine.
“In places where there were especially fierce battles, the bodies of Russian soldiers simply pile up along our line of defense – and no one is collecting these bodies,” he said.
He described a battle near Chornobayivka in the south, where Ukrainian forces held their positions and six times beat back the Russians, who just kept “sending their people to slaughter.”
Zelenskyy also reiterated the need for continuing peace talks with the Russians, saying such negotiations were “not simple or pleasant, but they are necessary.”
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“Ukraine has always sought a peaceful solution,” said Zelenskyy, who spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday. “Moreover, we are interested in peace now.”
The Russian invasion that began Feb. 24 is now in its fourth week.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.