Day 58 Roundup: Satellite Imagery Appears to Show Mass Graves Near Mariupol, Fighting Continues in East

    Photo: Maxar Technologies [via AP News]

    The Facts

    • A satellite image released by Maxar Technologies appears to show mass graves west of Mariupol. Maxar said the image was from Apr. 3 and showed approx. 200 mass graves stretching away from an existing cemetery in the town of Manush, roughly 12 mi (20 km) from Mariupol.

    • In a statement on Thurs., the city's mayor Vadym Boychenko accused Russia of "hiding their military crimes" by taking the bodies of civilians from Mariupol and burying them in Manhush. The graves could hold as many as 9k dead, the city's council said.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This isn't the first time mass graves have appeared in Ukraine. Satellite images showing others in Bucha emerged earlier in Apr. and Russia has bombarded Mariupol for months. These images are evidence of Russian war crimes, as stated by Ukrainian officials. They must be held to account.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Maxar Technologies, according to its own website, provides 90% of "foundational geospatial intelligence used by the US government for national security." Satellite imagery doesn't always show the true picture of what took place on the ground and media companies ought to ask themselves whether they're unwittingly circulating images paid for by the US military.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 94% chance that Mariupol will be under Russian control by Jun. 1, 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split