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Friday, December 1, 2023

Ukraine war: Three dead as maternity hospital hit by Russian air strike


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A children’s hospital and maternity hospital in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has been destroyed by an airstrike. The local authorities speak of a Russian action. At least 17 people were said to have been injured, including women who were giving birth. Russia has not yet responded.

Eyewitnesses reported that bloodied people were pulled from under the rubble. There is also a large crater on the site near the hospital. It is not known how many people were in the clinic at the time of the attack and how many people were killed and injured. The maternity ward may have been moved to the basement as a precaution, as previously reported, but it’s not clear if that was the case at this hospital.

Ukrainian President Zelensky shares a video of the devastation on Twitter. He writes: “People and children are under the rubble. An atrocity! How long will the world ignore terror? Close the airspace now! Stop the killings! You have power, but seem to be losing humanity.”

The rest of Europe is also reacting with horror. British Prime Minister Johnson, among others, has made himself heard. “There are few things more reprehensible than attacking vulnerable and helpless people,” he tweeted. “The UK is exploring options for increased aid to Ukraine to defend itself against airstrikes and Putin will be held responsible for these horrific crimes.”

A temporary truce was said to be in place in Mariupol today, allowing residents to leave the city. There has been shelling, power outages, and a shortage of food and water for at least a week. A university and a government building were also hit by bombing. According to the deputy mayor, at least 1,170 people have already been killed. There is talk of an “apocalyptic” situation.

Ukraine says Russia is thwarting humanitarian aid and evacuation attempts. Despite this, some 40,000 people are said to have been evacuated from Mariupol, Kiev and Kharkov today.

According to the United Nations, at least 516 people have been killed and 908 injured since the invasion began two weeks ago. Those numbers are probably higher. However, Russia denies targeting civilian targets.

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