On Wednesday, Ukraine accused Russia of hitting a children’s hospital in Mariupol, the beleaguered port city, amid an agreed ceasefire meant to allow civilians trapped in the city to flee.
Russia claimed it will hold bombardment to let thousands of residents evacuate Mariupol and other besieged cities. The hospital, however, was hit several times by an airstrike, according to the city council, in violation of the two countries’ agreement.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned the attack and called it an “atrocity”. He added on Twitter that “Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Reuters for comment on the reported bombing, said: “Russian forces do not fire on civilian targets.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry released video footage of the hospital, which showed holes where windows should have been in a three-story structure. The landscape was covered with huge heaps of smoldering rubble.
According to the governor of the Donetsk region, 17 individuals were injured, including women who were in labor. The reports could not be verified right away.
At least 1,170 civilians have been dead in Mariupol since the invasion began, according to Ukraine, with 47 being buried in a mass grave on Wednesday. The figures could not be independently verified.
Since President Vladimir Putin began the land, sea, and air invasion on February 24, more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine.