An “atrocity” where “the destruction is colossal” is how the bombing site of a Ukrainian children’s hospital is being described by authorities. Ukraine accused Russia on Wednesday of bombing the hospital in Mariupol during an agreed ceasefire. The ceasefire was supposed to allow civilians a moment to escape the war.
“Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage,” Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter. “Russia had said it would hold fire to let thousands of civilians flee Mariupol and other besieged cities on Wednesday. But the city council said the hospital had been hit several times by an air strike” reports Reuters.
“The destruction is colossal,” said the city council in an online post. President Volodymyr Zelensky called it an “atrocity”. 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 posted video footage of what it said was the hospital showing holes where windows should have been in a three-story building. 17 people were wounded, including women in labor. Reuters said the reports could not immediately be verified.
Earlier Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia had broken the ceasefire around the southern port, which lies between Russian-backed separatist areas of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, annexed by Moscow 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.”
Ukraine officials have also said that at least 1,170 civilians had been killed in Mariupol since the start of the invasion. A gruesome 47 people were buried in a mass grave on Wednesday. It was not possible to verify the figures, reported Reuters.
Russia’s defence ministry blamed Ukraine for the failure of the evacuation and said that the situation faced by civilians in Mariupol had reached a “catastrophic scale”. A senior U.S. defence official said there were indications Russia’s military was using so-called “dumb” bombs that are not precision-guided and that Washington had observed “increasing damage to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties”.
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VIDEO: Russia Moving Missiles Towards Finland Border
Putin has said in recent years that Finland is considered friendly so long as they do not join NATO. Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö confirmed Sunday he has applied for NATO membership.
MetroUK tweeted chilling video and reported the following:
Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said: ‘They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it,’ and insisted ‘the general level of military tension will rise’.
BREAKING: Russia moves nuclear missiles towards Finland border in backlash over Nato bid. https://t.co/fgzgXnwjqK
— Metro (@MetroUK) May 16, 2022
The video was reportedly taken on a road leading to Vyborg, around 24 miles from the Finnish border, showing the deployment of mobile Iskander missiles.
“Seven launchers are thought to be en route according to commentary on a dash cam video broadcast by Russian media.”
A person on the video can be heard saying: ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining Nato, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them is moving towards Vyborg.
‘Looks like a new military unit is about to be formed in Vyborg or the region.’
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