Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Kevin ClarkeApril 11, 2022
Oleg, 56, mourns for his mother Inna, 86, killed during the war against Russia in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Two staff members and five others taking shelter at a Caritas office in Mariupol, Ukraine, were killed after the building was destroyed by tank fire. The deadly attack was reported by Caritas-Spes Ukraine and Caritas Ukraine in posts on Twitter on April 11, but the incident itself occured on March 15.

Staff members for the Mariupol Caritas in Ukraine released an account of the attack on April 11, adding, “Unfortunately, we don't have the exact information about the people in our office at that time, so we can't tell who was there that day.” It did report that two accountants for Caritas and five others sheltering in the Mariupol office had been killed.

Reporting the attack on April 11, Caritas-Spes Ukraine expressed “its condolences to the parents of the innocent victims.”

The Caritas Ukraine Twitter account reported that the Caritas office in Mariupol was destroyed after being “shot by a Russian tank.” It added that people had taken refuge in the office, seeking to escape the near constant shelling of the city of Mariupol, which has been under attack since the Russian incursion began in February.

“Terrible, incredibly painful news from Mariupol,” read a post on the Caritas Ukraine Facebook account. “We remember how in 2018 the opening of the [Mariupol] Center took place—how much hope and prospects then were before us.

“All of this was destroyed by the Russians. Just at a loss for words!... Eternal memory to all innocently killed! Sincere condolences to family and loved ones!”

Caritas Ukraine reported that since the war began, its offices, including the one that was attacked in Mariupol, have been assisting Ukraine refugees in border nations and internally displaced people inside Ukraine. Its efforts have included attempts to transport Ukrainians trapped in conflict zones out of the fighting and into safer regions of the country.

According to its website, Caritas-Spes maintains 80 regional centers around Ukraine, which in normal times “actively organize assistance for those who need it regardless of creed, race or ethnicity through soup kitchens, social centers, houses of mercy, medical cabinets [and] rehabilitation centers.” Around a thousand employees and volunteers are currently working for Caritas in Ukraine, according to local media.

Caritas Internationalis is the church’s umbrella organization, based in Rome, representing scores of independent national Caritas groups at work on disaster relief, humanitarian aid delivery and economic development projects around the world.

As reaction to this latest outrage poured in on social media, the mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boychenko, reported that more than 10,000 civilians have died in the Russian siege of his city. He said he believed the death toll so far could surpass 20,000 and added that corpses are “carpeted through the streets.”

Speaking by phone with The Associated Press, Mr. Boychenko said Russian forces brought mobile cremation equipment to Mariupol to dispose of the bodies. He charged that Russian forces, in an attempt to conceal the carnage, refused to allow humanitarian convoys into the city .

Russian forces have taken many bodies to a huge shopping center where there are storage facilities and refrigerators, Mr. Boychenko said.

“Mobile crematoriums have arrived in the form of trucks: You open it, and there is a pipe inside and these bodies are burned,” he said.

With reporting from The Associated Press

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent, by James T. Keane
James T. KeaneDecember 02, 2022
A Reflection for the Memorial of St. Francis Xavier, by J.D. Long-García
J.D. Long-GarcíaDecember 02, 2022
The graces of the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick, Ordination, Baptism, Matrimony and Eucharist compounded as they were being lived out.
Michael StrandeDecember 02, 2022
A group of young adults draw on windows with markers
This imaginary scene depicts the dreams of many Catholics: a church that welcomes LGBTQ people, allows women to be ordained and gives young Catholics a platform for their ideas.
Religion News ServiceDecember 02, 2022