Russia bombed a theater in Mariupol that had 'CHILDREN' written in Russian outside, satellite images show

  • Russian forces bombed a theater in the city of Mariupol on Wednesday, according to Ukrainian officials.

  • The building was serving as a shelter for hundreds of refugees in the embattled city.

  • New satellite images show the word "CHILDREN" written largely in Russian outside the theater.

The theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, targeted in an alleged Russian attack on Wednesday had the word "CHILDREN" written largely in Russian on the pavement outside, according to satellite images.

The theater was serving as a shelter for hundreds of civilian refugees, including many children, in the embattled city of Mariupol, which has been left without water, heat, and food for several days amid Russia's escalating attack.

The total deaths resulting from the attack are currently unknown, but a city official said more than 1,000 people had been hiding in the building.

Maxar satellite images of the theater show the word "CHILDREN" written in large, white, Cyrillic letters on two sides of the building — a possible attempt to alert Russian forces to the presence of young civilians hiding inside.

The type of weapon that damaged the theater was not immediately known but is consistent with an air-dropped bomb, Ukrainian officials said. Russia is denying responsibility for the attack, and President Vladimir Putin suggested without evidence that a Ukrainian ground force element could be responsible.

A post from the city council shared on Telegram said the theater suffered "severe damage" as a result of the attack.

City officials accused Russian troops of "purposefully and cynically" destroying the theater, according to CNN.

This story is breaking. Please check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider