A maternity hospital in the port city of Mariupol in Ukraine was partially destroyed by Russian airstrikes Wednesday. Authorities said that the attack had wounded at least 17 people, no casualties have been reported so far.
The Mariupol maternity complex was reportedly hit by several airstrikes, which completely destroyed the front of one building. Several buildings were also damaged, and much of their windows were blown out. Authorities said police and emergency services immediately rushed to the scene to evacuate victims, including those still suffering from injuries.
Police described the attack as a "huge crime" perpetrated by Russia against Ukraine. Other officials described it as a clear "war crime." The hospital in Mariupol was the third to be hit by Russian attacks. In the city of Zhytomyr, just west of Kyiv, two hospitals were hit by airstrikes. One of the hospitals was a children's hospital. Fortunately, the hospital was completely evacuated when the bombs fell, and there were no reported casualties.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned Russia for the attack on the civilian facilities. In a broadcasted night address, Zelensky expressed his horror at how Russians are now attacking hospitals. He asked what kind of county is afraid of hospitals and destroys them. Zelensky urged the western world to further put pressure on Russia to force it to stop the "genocide" of his people.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the attack as "depraved" in a post on social media. He said Russia should not be hitting "vulnerable and defenseless" targets. He added that Russian Vladimir Putin will be held accountable for his "terrible crimes." U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also expressed his condemnation of the recent attack in Mariupol. Blinken described the incident as an "unconscionable attack."
Since the fighting began, the World Health Organization estimates that Russian forces have attacked at least 18 medical facilities, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 people.
Russia's military is suffering more than expected two weeks into its attack on Ukraine, but Putin's invading army of more than 150,000 men maintains potentially overwhelming firepower as it closes in on major cities. With the exception of the Russian advance on the towns of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv, there has been little change on the ground, despite intensive bombardment on civilian areas.
The crisis is worsening in and around Kyiv, according to regional administration chief Oleksiy Kuleba, with the situation particularly bad in the suburbs. The situation is considerably worse in Mariupol, where efforts to evacuate civilians and provide desperately needed food, water, and medication were thwarted on Tuesday due to what the Ukrainians described as ongoing Russian bombardment.