It was recently reported by Newsmax that a Russian air strike badly damaged a children’s hospital in the besieged Ukranian port city of Mariupol on Wednesday, burying patients under rubble and injuring women in labor, Ukraine said.
The bombing, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called an “atrocity,” took place despite an agreed ceasefire to enable thousands of civilians trapped in the city to escape.
The city council said the hospital had been hit several times by an air strike, causing “colossal” destruction.
“Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage,” Zelenskiy said on Twitter.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Reuters for comment, said: “Russian forces do not fire on civilian targets.”
Russia / Ukraine Poll
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry posted footage of what it said was the hospital showing blasted-out windows and piles of smoldering rubble.
The Donetsk region’s governor said 17 people were wounded, including women in labor. The United Nations human rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine was verifying the number of casualites, a U.N. spokesperson in Geneva said.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia had broken the ceasefire around the southern port, which lies between Russian-backed separatist areas of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, annexed by Moscow from Ukraine in 2014.
“Russia continues holding hostage over 400,000 people in Mariupol, blocks humanitarian aid and evacuation. Indiscriminate shelling continues,” he wrote on Twitter. “Almost 3,000 newborn babies lack medicine and food.”
Ukraine said 67 children across the country had been killed since the invasion and at least 1,170 civilians had died in Mariupol.
It was not possible to verify the figures, but satellite image company Maxar said images showed extensive damage to homes, apartment buildings, grocery stores and shopping centers.
Russia’s defense ministry blamed Ukraine for the failure of the evacuation.
A senior U.S. defense official said there were indications Russia’s military was using bombs that are not precision-guided.
Local officials said some civilians had left several Ukranian cities through safe corridors, including out of Sumy in the east and Enerhodar in the south, but that Russian forces were preventing buses from evacuating civilians from Bucha, a town outside the capital Kyiv.