It is with great restraint that the world speaks of the horrors of World War II, and for myriad reasons. Come are afraid that the evils of the Nazi regime will be conjured if they’re brought back out into the light. For others, it is simply too gruesome to consider.
And, perhaps most presciently, there are fears that constant comparisons between modern day events and those that occurred in Europe all those years ago might desensitize our society as a whole.
But there are times in which these comparisons are wholly correct, and this is one of those times.
The Mariupol City Council on Wednesday accused Russian forces of relying on a mobile crematorium to cover up their alleged war crimes in the southeast port city of Ukraine.
Mariupol, which has been partially occupied for weeks, has been the target of one of the most brutal Russian offensives in Ukraine since the invasion began in February.
“The killers are covering their tracks,” the city council said in several social media posts, adding that the Russians have set up “mobile crematoriums.”
“Russia’s top leadership ordered the destruction of any evidence of crimes committed by its army in Mariupol,” the council added in a translated statement, accusing Moscow of reacting to widespread condemnation over mass civilian killings in Bucha.
Local officials were not shy about sharing their opinions of the carnage.
“The world has not seen the scale of the tragedy in Mariupol since the existence of the Nazi concentration camps. Russia-occupation forces turned our entire city into a death camp,” Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said in a statement translated by Ukrainian news outlet Interfax. “This is the new Auschwitz and Majdanek.”
“The world must help punish Putin’s monsters,” he added.
The shock of the images coming out of Mariupol and Bucha have made it all the more difficult for the west and NATO to remain at an arm’s length, particularly as pressure continues to mount at the public level.