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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol 'genocide' as rescuers race to save the injured.
Yesterday, city officials announced that 'several bombs' were dropped on the hospital, with the city's deputy mayor telling the BBC today that three people - including a child - had been killed in the strike.
Zelenskyy earlier took to social media to report there had been a 'direct strike' on the hospital by Russian troops, who have been surrounding the southern port city for days. He stated that children had been left 'under the wreckage' as a result.
Rescuers now face a race against time to find those who lie injured underneath, in an attack Zelenskyy has since called 'the ultimate proof of genocide against Ukrainians'.
⚡️Mariupol is being destroyed by Russia. The city of 400,000 people is encircled and shelled nonstop.— Oleksiy Sorokin (@mrsorokaa) March 9, 2022
People lack drinking water, food, medicine.
Videos published by the Mariupol City Council give us a glimpse of how dire the situation is. pic.twitter.com/nO6xIDmOZu
Urgent evacuations have been caught on camera, with pregnant women being carried out of the rubble on stretchers, and nurses and wounded patients aided too, Mail Online reports.
Zelenskyy released a statement via Telegram addressing the bombing of the hospital. He said: 'Europeans, you can't say you didn't see what is happening. You have to tighten the sanctions until Russia can't continue their savage war.
'What kind of country bombs hospitals? Is afraid of hospitals? Of a maternity ward? Was someone insulting Russians? Were pregnant women shooting in direction of Rostov? Was it the ''denazification'' of a hospital? What the Russians did at Mariupol was beyond savagery.'
Zelensky: "Today is the day that defines everything. It defines who is on which side.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 9, 2022
Russian bombs fell on a children hospital and maternity hospital in Mariupol. As of now, 17 people are injured. Rescuers are still going through the debris."
Most of the patients are said to have been in the basement at the time of the attack, with 17 people reportedly injured, including pregnant women.
Top regional police official Volodymir Nikulin reflected: 'Russia committed a huge crime. It is a war crime without any justification.'
According to Mariupol's deputy mayor Sergei Orlov, it is thought that the heavily-bombarded city's death count is 'three to four times more' than first anticipated.
British prime minister Boris Johnson released a statement condemning the attack, saying: 'There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless.
'The UK is exploring more support for Ukraine to defend against airstrikes and we will hold Putin to account for his terrible crimes.'
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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