As world condemnation continues over the recent massacre in Bucha, a report surfaced about Russian missile strikes targeting a foreign cargo ship Tuesday. The Dominica-flagged ship sank following the strikes in the besieged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
The vessel Azburg was believed to have been without cargo and at berth in Mariupol when the incident took place on April 3, the Dominica Maritime Administration said, Reuters reported.
“On April 4, around 2240 LT (local time) the vessel was heavily fired upon by Russian armed forces after intentionally shelling the vessel twice a day earlier,” the registry said in a statement.
“Specific characteristics of firing on the vessel remain unknown, crew reported shelling, bombing and repeated hits by missiles, causing a fire in the engine room.”
Authorities said that of the 12 crew members on board the ship, one required medical treatment. The others were evacuated onto nearby vessels. The condition of the crew member who was given medical treatment remains unclear.
Russian officials have not spoken out about the incident. The vessel sinking cannot be independently verified.
Eric Dawicki, deputy administrator of maritime affairs with the registry, confirmed the sinking of the vessel, adding that the registry assumed the incident would “create some environmental impediments.”
“It certainly will create navigational impediments at the dock and we are certainly concerned,” he told Reuters.
“The indiscriminate shelling of a merchant vessel with a civilian crew with no place to seek refuge is the lowest of lows,” Dawicki added.
The 427-foot vessel arrived in Mariupol on Feb. 23 and was unable to leave Ukrainian waters as Russian military took control of waterways around Ukraine on Feb. 24.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the military situation in Mariupol “very difficult” as they tried to push back Russian troops.