At least 17 people were injured when a Russian airstrike hit a children’s hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, according to Ukrainian officials.
The coastal city in southeastern Ukraine, home to more than 400,000 people, has been surrounded by Russian forces for a week and has been subjected to heavy attacks. Wednesday’s airstrike shook the ground up to a mile away from the medical facility, according to The Associated Press.
The hospital, which cares for many pregnant women and newborn children, was hit by multiple blasts that blew out windows and ripped the front off of one building, the AP reported. One bleeding, pregnant woman was seen carried out on a stretcher.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the attack as an “atrocity,” claiming that there were women and children trapped under the wreckage. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin must be held accountable for his “terrible crimes.”
Mariupol. 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. pic.twitter.com/FoaNdbKH5k
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 9, 2022
New ceasefires were announced Wednesday to allow Ukrainian civilians to evacuate a number of cities, including Kyiv and Mariupol. Previous attempts at evacuation corridors have been largely unsuccessful, with both sides accusing each other of violating ceasefires. (RELATED: Ukrainians Appear To Steal A Tank In Viral Video)
Authorities used one break in the shelling in Mariupol to dig a 25-yard trench to be used as a mass grave for the dead, according to the AP. Most of the bodies put inside were of civilians, not soldiers. The humanitarian crisis in that city, and others, has worsened as attempts to ship in food, water and other necessities have been stifled by Russian shelling.