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Satellite image showing cranes and vehicles at Mariupol Theater, in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 12. (Maxar Technologies)

An extensive excavation of the bombed Mariupol drama theater remains ongoing, new satellite images from Maxar Technologies show.

The area is now under Russian control, and the clearance of debris from the fighting is underway in several parts of the city. The site was bombed on March 16 and Ukrainian officials believe at least 300 people who were taking shelter in the building were killed.

On April 29, a satellite image showed a crane at the side of the building. The sidewalks on the northern and southern side of the drama theater, which had been covered in debris from the bombing, were by then cleared.

This satellite image shows Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 29.
This satellite image shows Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 29. (Maxar Technologies)

In a May 2 satellite image, the crane was behind the drama theater. Trucks were parked at the front, but it’s unclear from the image what their purpose was.

Then in a satellite image taken on May 6, even more activity is seen at the theater. The crane is seen sitting next to the large hole in the theater’s roof, the likely epicenter of the explosion that tore the building apart.

More trucks are seen outside and around the building. Some trucks are parked on top of the large sign that said children in Cyrillic, written before the bombing to deter Russian attacks.

Donetsk People Republic Emergency Situations Ministry employees clear rubble at the side of the damaged Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 12.
Donetsk People Republic Emergency Situations Ministry employees clear rubble at the side of the damaged Mariupol Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 12. (AP)

CNN has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment about the excavations.

When it was bombed, the drama theater was being used as a shelter by women, children, and the elderly.

The Ukrainian government has accused the Russians of conducting an airstrike on the theater. Russia has repeatedly denied that it hit the theater and has claimed without offering evidence that the Azov Regiment — one of the Ukrainian army’s units in Mariupol — blew it up.

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