Russia struck a Red Cross building in the besieged port city of Mariupol on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials have claimed. Officials have also warned that the constant shelling on Mariupol may soon unfold a humanitarian disaster. However, despite that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that shelling would only end when Ukrainian troops in the city surrender.
The bombing on the Red Cross building was confirmed by Ukrainian ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova via a social media message. Denisova did not specify when the strikes took place and stated that there was no confirmation yet if anyone was killed or injured as a result of the attack.
Russia Bombs Mariupol Again
On Wednesday, Denisova posted on social media that Russian air force struck a Red Cross building in Mariupol, setting yet another instance of war crimes. "In Mariupol, the occupiers aimed at the building of the International Committee of the Red Cross," Ukrainian ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova said in a statement on social media.
"Enemy aircraft and artillery fired on a building marked with a red cross on a white background, indicating the presence of wounded people or civilian or humanitarian cargo," the statement said.
The strike came just a day after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) urged Ukraine and Russia to reach an agreement on assistance distribution and the safe evacuation of civilians from the city, where essentials are rapidly running out. It's estimated that 160,000 people remain stranded within the city.
Drone footage shows the extent of damage caused on the building, with just the faÃ§ade of the building remaining after the strike.
Officials believe Russian soldiers have encircled the vital southern city, and their indiscriminate shelling has killed at least 5,000 people, with the total death toll estimated to be as high as 10,000.
Earlier, chilling drone footage revealed the extent of the devastation in Mariupol, where the mayor's administration alleged today that Putin's army kidnapped 70 women and medics from a maternity facility and deported them to Russia.
Mariupol has been nearly devastated by Moscow's soldiers, and the horrifying aerial footage illustrates the scope of the devastation of what was once a beautiful port city with 400,000 residents before Putin's invasion on February 24.
More than 20,000 people of the city have been deported "against their will" to Russia, where their identity documents were seized and they were deported to 'Russian cities far away,' according to the mayor's office's Telegram channel.
Mariupol has been the worst affected of all the cities in Ukraine. Earlier this month, a maternity hospital in Mariupol was struck by Russian bombardment, sparking international condemnation.
Besides, a theatre where was also bombed by Russian air force. Footage revealed the wreckage of the city's theatre, which was destroyed on March 16 by an airstrike was being used as a civilian shelter at the time, and despite the word "children" being printed in large letters on the outside, it was bombed.
Three people, including a child had died in the attack. Officials from Russia both dismissed the bombing as a Ukrainian set-up and defended it by alleging that the facility was being utilized by extreme Ukrainian forces and that all medical professionals and patients had long since vanished.