Russian air strikes have reportedly destroyed a children's hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, according to officials. Ukraine said that Russian aircraft indiscriminately bombed a children's hospital in the besieged port of Mariupol, during a supposed ceasefire to enable some of the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the city to escape.
Video footage taken from inside the now destructed hospital show obliterated rooms and hallways covered in debris. The city council said the damage was "colossal". Authorities believe a large number of people have been killed and many are trapped under the debris. Rescue operations are being hampered due to constant shelling.
Taking Innocent Lives
Russia had said that it would hold fire on Wednesday to allow civilians to evacuate Mariupol and other besieged cities, despite the fact that it denies targeting civilians. The city council, on the other hand, claimed that the hospital had been attacked multiple times and now has been completed razed to the ground, with hundreds feared dead.
According to reports, it was a maternity hospital and several children including newborns have died and many are trapped in the rubble. Video footage shows the extent of Russian hostilities.
On Wednesday, Deputy Mayor of Mariupol, Sergiy Orlov, said that Russian shelling has killed at least 1,170 people including hundreds in the hospital. "The city is under "continuous Russian shelling," Orlov said, adding that at least 47 people have been buried today in a mass grave. "It's medieval," he added, the Guardian reported.
"Putin is intent on having Ukraine without Ukrainians. It's pure genocide. The attack being waged by Russia isn't simply treacherous. It's a war crime," Orlov said, according to the Guardian report.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were children under the wreckage. "Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage," Zelensky tweeted.
"Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity."
Merciless Russian Forces
Ukrainian MP Dmytro Gurin shared footage of the damage on twitter, and said people had been pulled from the rubble. However, rescue operations are being hampered due to constant shelling form the Russian air force.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister, claimed earlier that Russia had violated the truce near the southern port, which is located between Russian-backed rebel territory in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which Moscow annexed 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."
The reports could not be verified right away. Russia has denied that civilians are being targeted. For days, its forces have been laying siege to the southern port city.
For nearly a week, thousands of people have been without power, sanitation, or basic essentials. Bodies have been abandoned in the street, and fires have erupted around the city. A toddler died of dehydration, according to President Zelensky, after the Russian military cut off the water supply.