Friday , August 12 2022

Videos Show Devastating Strike at Mariupol Hospital Maternity Ward

An apparent Russian strike on Wednesday damaged and destroyed buildings at a hospital complex in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, including a maternity ward, according to several videos verified by The New York Times.

The videos from the hospital showed several wounded people being evacuated. Seventeen people were injured, including staff members and maternity ward patients, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the regional governor, said in an interview with a Ukrainian television station.

The extent of the casualties was not immediately clear. It was also not clear whether the hospital was fully operating at the time of the strike or had been evacuated to some degree. The strike was another apparent instance of Russia’s siege tactics hitting civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian cities, leading to what officials have called a humanitarian crisis in Mariupol.

For days, heavy Russian bombardment has cut residents off from power, water and heat in Mariupol, a strategic port city. The city is part of a vital stretch of terrain that Russia is trying to capture in an apparent attempt to link Russian-backed separatist enclaves in the southeast with Crimea, the southern peninsula Russia seized in 2014.

Russia and Ukraine had agreed to a limited cease-fire on Saturday morning only to see it collapse within hours under Russian shelling.

The Ukrainian government blamed Russia for the hospital strike, and witnesses and a local news outlet claimed that it had been caused by bombs dropped by Russian warplanes.

The strike sprayed shrapnel and blew out the windows of several buildings at City Hospital No. 3, the videos showed. One crater in a courtyard between the buildings appeared to be more than 10 feet deep.

Witnesses and open source information from Wikimapia identified the buildings as a children’s clinic, an ophthalmology department and a maternity ward.

“Planes attacked the maternity ward. That’s Russians for you,” a man filming one of the videos says.

The hospital appeared to be just one of several places in central Mariupol devastated by the bombing raid. Another video filmed on University Street, two blocks east, showed heavy damage, including blown out windows, to the Mariupol City Council building and Pryazovskyi State Technical University.

Some of the footage appeared to be taken by members of Ukraine’s territorial defense forces and the local police.

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