A Russian bomb attack on a maternity ward and children’s hospital in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has killed at least three people, including one child, Ukrainian authorities said.
The attack on Wednesday Mar. 9 came despite Russia agreeing to a 12-hour ceasefire in order to allow hundreds of thousands of civilians to evacuate some of Ukraine’s hardest hit cities and has drawn widespread condemnation.
The Mariupol city council posted a video of the destroyed hospital, saying that Russian forces had dropped several bombs on it.
Ukrainian authorities said that three people had been killed, and 17 people had been wounded, including pregnant women waiting to give birth, doctors, and children who were buried in rubble, AP reported.
Videos showed the strikes spraying shrapnel and blowing out the windows of several buildings at City Hospital No. 3, the New York Times reported.
Photos showed pregnant women covered in dust and blood trying to evacuate the hospital, drawing widespread international condemnation.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack an atrocity and repeated his call for NATO to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
“Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity,” he said on Telegram, CNN reported. “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?”
“What kind of a country is Russia, that it is afraid of hospitals and maternity wards and destroys them?” he said, BBC reported.
A spokesperson for the Kremlin told Reuters that “Russian forces do not fire on civilian targets” in response to a request for comment on the bombing.
The attacks have drawn international condemnation and allegations of war crimes.
The United Nations has said it would follow up urgently on the “shocking reports” and that health care facilities and workers should not “ever, ever be a target,” CNN reported.