Russian Airstrike Devastates Ukraine Maternity Hospital

March 9, 2022

A maternity hospital in the Ukraine port city of Mariupol was heavily damaged by a Russian airstrike on Wednesday, leaving at least 17 people injured or wounded, Ukrainian officials told The Associated Press.

Video and photos showed scorched vehicles and trees outside the building and people helping the injured leave the area, including a pregnant woman on a stretcher. The Associated Press said the blast created a crater at least two stories deep, blew out windows and ripped away much of the building’s front. No fatalities were immediately reported.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted a video that showed rubble and broken furniture in what appears to be the interior of the hospital.

“Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital,” Zelenskyy tweeted. “People, children are under the wreckage. 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.”

“Today Russia committed a huge crime,” Volodymir Nikulin, a top regional police official said while standing in the hospital ruins, according to The Associated Press.  “It is a war crime without any justification.”

Mariupol has been under heavy bombardment, and most residents have not had power, heat, water, or phone service for more than a week, The Associated Press said.

Mariupol Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov said 1,170 residents had died, with 47 buried in a mass grave Wednesday, The Guardian reported.

“It’s medieval,” he said. “It’s pure genocide. The attack isn’t simply treacherous. It’s a war crime. They are attacking us with aviation, shells, multiple rocket launchers.”

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