Unbelievable tragedy: About 300 dead in the ruins of the bombed theater in Mariupol

What Ukrainian officials have said, citing eyewitnesses.

mariupol 2 Mariupol, DEAD, Ukraine

What Ukrainian officials have said, citing eyewitnesses.

About 300 people were pulled from the rubble of the bombed-out theater in Mariupol, according to Ukrainian officials.

No casualties have been reported so far, as debris and incessant bombardment made verification difficult.

Now Ukrainian officials say about 300 people may have died in the blast, which struck a theater where hundreds of people had taken refuge.

Russia denies hitting it

Ukrainian officials say Russia carried out the strike. Russia has denied that it attacked the theater, although attacks on several residential buildings and other civilian facilities have been documented across the country.

"Eyewitnesses say that about 300 people lost their lives at the Mariupol Drama Theater after being hit by a Russian plane," the Mariupol town hall wrote in the Telegram.

The battles in Mariupol are fierce

At the same time, referring to Mariupol, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verestsuk said today that Kyiv hopes to open a safe corridor for the evacuation of civilians from the city today.

The think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that Russian forces have made steady progress in the besieged southern city, entering the central area of ​​the city on March 24.

The port city, considered vital to the Russian campaign, has been besieged by Russian troops since early March.

As the situation worsens in Mariupol, local Ukrainian authorities have left the city to better coordinate regional operations, according to ISW, an independent US-based think tank.

The ISW also notes that Russian forces continued to bomb Kharkiv and hit a humanitarian aid point, killing six people and wounding 15, while ensuring that their troops advanced on several points in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The institute also highlighted Ukraine's successful attack on Russian ships in the occupied port of Berdyansk, adding that Ukraine had forced Russian troops to defend northwest of the capital Kyiv and prevented Russia from encircling the area.