The Russian troops have been accused of dropping several bombs on a children’s hospital on Wednesday afternoon, in the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukraine, leaving at least seventeen people wounded.
Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, claimed children were left buried under the rubble after the Russian strike and branded the attack an “atrocity”.
The airstrike was carried out during an agreed ceasefire period that was meant to allow the evacuation of civilians from the besieged southern city, said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
He said on a Facebook post: “So far there are 17 wounded personnel of the hospital” adding that “so far no kids were wounded” and there have been “no deaths”.
Horror footage showed the charred remains of the hospital with wounded staff and patients being rushed out of the building into a devastating scene of burning cars and smoldering rubble.
The video showed holes where windows should have been in what appeared to be a badly damaged three-story building at the hospital.
Previous attempts to allow civilians to evacuate safely failed, with harrowing images showing people running for shelter.
The city council accused brutal Russian forces of “dropping several bombs” on the hospital with footage showing a huge crater outside one of the buildings.
Mariupol city council said: “The Russian occupying forces have dropped several bombs on the children’s hospital. The destruction is colossal.”
Zelenskyy shared footage of the harrowing scene inside the building and said: “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.”
The Ukraine president has repeatedly urged the US and other Nato nations to impose a no-fly zone to protect his citizens against bombing, rocket attacks and advancing Russian troops.
But Nato members warned a no-fly zone could lead to direct clashes between Russian and Nato forces.
Video released by Ukrainian Pres. Zelenskyy shows the ruins of a children's hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, blamed on Russian airstrikes. https://t.co/kZ8IMrShSe pic.twitter.com/DipGEJcKsC
— ABC News (@ABC) March 9, 2022
Boris Johnson slammed the “depraved” airstrike in Mariupol which targeted “vulnerable and defenceless” mums and babies.
The PM said: “There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenseless.
“The UK is exploring more support for Ukraine to defend against airstrikes and we will hold Putin to account for his terrible crimes.”
Ukrainian MP Dmytro Gurin claimed “many” women had been killed or wounded in the Russian bombardment.
The deputy head of Mr Zelenskyy’s office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said authorities are still trying to establish the number of casualties.
Days of shelling in Mariupol have cut residents off from the outside world and forced them to scavenge for food and water.
Mariupol’s deputy mayor said 1,170 civilians have been killed in the city since the start of the Russian invasion.
Serhiy Orlov was quoted as saying: “At least 1,170 people have been killed and 47 were buried in a mass grave today. People are without water, heat, electricity, gas, residents are melting snow to drink.”
Yesterday, a girl, eight, died of dehydration after Russian attacks left her without access to water, power, or heating.
And a Red Cross aid mission was allegedly hit by a Russian bomb in the city, amid reports victims of shelling are being buried in mass graves.
Two bombs were dropped in the attack on the International and the Ukrainian Committees of the Red Cross, according to unverified reports.
The Red Cross described conditions inside the city as “apocalyptic”, with residents sheltering underground from relentless bombardment.