The Ukrainian president has denied that the bombing of a children’s hospital by Russian forces on Wednesday was a “war crime” and accused Western nations of complicity in the atrocities.
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Demolished building, medical debris scattered on the floor, beds of newborns that collapsed: it was from these rubble that pregnant women and young children were evacuated Wednesday. The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a hospital for children and pregnant women in the port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine.
“People and children are under the rubble. Horror! How much longer will the world be unaware of terrorism and complicit? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky wrote on Twitter condemning what he considers a “war crime.”
“It’s a testament to the genocide of the Ukrainians,” he told NATO, without elaborating. Close the sky now. Stop the killings. You have power, but you lose your humanity. ⁇
A stone thrown from the building, a trench over 10 feet high, testified Wednesday to the brutality of the attack. The first Ukrainian report submitted on Wednesday said that 17 people had been killed and 17 injured, including maternity staff and patients.
The attack took place while the women were in labor at the hospital. Less than a kilometer away, a university was also targeted by the strike.
The incident caused a great stir around the world.
“The barbaric use of military force against innocent civilians”, condemned the White House.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the move “immoral.”
“There are some things that are worse than targeting the vulnerable and insecure,” Johnson added.
Not to mention that the bombings took place in the middle of the ceasefire, with Russia accepting a 12-hour break and allowing refugees to evacuate several cities. Moscow and Kiev are scheduled to meet on Thursday to continue talks in Turkey.
A war station, really?
Hours before the strikes on Mariupol, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Ukraine of using the hospital’s maternity ward as a fighting ground.
According to him, patients and caregivers were “excluded” from the premises. However, photos and videos contradict these words, while pregnant women had to be pushed out on stretchers.
Prisoners of the city
Since the invasion began, 1,300 civilians have been killed in Mariupol alone, according to local officials. Fighting around the city was intense, as evidenced by the residents who managed to escape. New York Times.
But about 300,000 Ukrainians are still stranded without water, food, heat and communication. Attempts to negotiate on a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol have repeatedly failed, and the Russian fire was not stopped at the expected time.
“Bodies are lying on the streets,” said 28-year-old Marina Levinsuk, who drove 30 hours to seek refuge in a town in the west. [Les gens] Collect ice and melt and bring to a boil [pour avoir de l’eau]. ⁇
– With Roxane Trudel
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