The Russian army bombed and/or shelled a maternity hospital in the southern port city of Mariupol on Wednesday, according to Ukrainian government reports. Ukrainian authorities also provided video and photos as evidence.
If confirmed, this will mark a brutal new low in Putin’s two-week old invasion.
While the number of casualties at the hospital is currently unknown, more than 1,000 deaths have been recorded city-wide since the Russian attacks began.
It is also unclear how much of the damage was sustained in the previous airstrikes. However, President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted:
“Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror?
Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. 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. pic.twitter.com/FoaNdbKH5k
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 9, 2022
Mariupol is situated on the north coast of the Sea of Azov at the mouth of the Kalmius river. It is the tenth-largest city in Ukraine with 430,000 residents. It has been under heavy Russian attack from the beginning of Putin’s invasion, with Russian forces all but encircling the city, according to Britain’s Defense Ministry.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense posted footage of the bombed site on Twitter, showing smoke rising from the destroyed building. The city council wrote on Facebook that the destruction was “colossal.”
🇷🇺Окупанти з літаків цілеспрямовано розбомбили дитячу лікарню у Маріуполі.
Руйнування колосальні. pic.twitter.com/9pRjmGsPVq
— 🇺🇦Armed Forces (@ArmedForcesUkr) March 9, 2022
“It’s all one complex—a maternity and children’s hospital,” explained Ukrainian MP Dmitry Gurin to BBC. “A lot of dead and wounded women. We don’t know about children and newborns yet,” Gurin added.
Other reports noted that the staff had moved newborns and their mothers to the basement earlier to help protect them, and this may have shielded them from the most recent attack.
Meanwhile the AP reported earlier Wednesday that the scene was grim, writing that: “Corpses lie in the streets… Hungry people break into stores in search of food and melt snow for water. Thousands huddle in basements, trembling at the sound of Russian shells pounding this strategic port city.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, said in a Tweet that Russia is holding more than 400,000 Ukrainians hostage in the city.
“Russia continues holding hostage over 400.000 people in Mariupol, blocks humanitarian aid and evacuation,” he tweeted. “Indiscriminate shelling continues. Almost 3.000 newborn babies lack medicine and food. I urge the world to act! Force Russia to stop its barbaric war on civilians and babies!”
Russia continues holding hostage over 400.000 people in Mariupol, blocks humanitarian aid and evacuation. Indiscriminate shelling continues. Almost 3.000 newborn babies lack medicine and food. I urge the world to act! Force Russia to stop its barbaric war on civilians and babies!
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 9, 2022
Meanwhile, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Emine Dzheppar, tweeted additional graphic images of the aftermath of the Russian attack.
#Mariupol today. It is besieged by #Russian invaders who keep shelling and killing civilian population of the city. They don’t care whether it’s elderly persons, women or children.
We ask to close the sky over Ukraine or provide us with weapon we need and we will do it ourselves. pic.twitter.com/PTw27UQeD7
— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) March 9, 2022
While few details of this incident has been independently confirmed yet, it does seem that Putin’s disastrous invasion is becoming more brutal and indiscriminate every day.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard.