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Children's hospital destroyed by Russian bombs in 'atrocious' civilian attack, Ukraine says

Footage of the bombed-out hospital shows the interior and exterior in tatters.
Footage of the bombed-out hospital shows the interior and exterior in tatters. (Image credit: Volodymyr Zelenskyy via Twitter)

Russian forces bombed and destroyed a hospital complex – including a 600-bed maternity hospital and a children's ward – in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Wednesday (March 9), according to Ukrainian officials.

At least 17 civilians have been reported injured in the bombing, while further details about potential casualties are "being clarified," according to CNN. Video of the building after being bombed shows the interior of the hospital in shambles, with windows blown out, walls riddled with holes and hallways strewn with mangled hospital beds and debris.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, hospital patients and children remain trapped under the wreckage.

"Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage," Zelenskyy said on Twitter, adding that the attack was an "atrocity."

The destroyed hospital complex contained a maternity ward, children's ward and internal medicine department, according to Ukrainian officials. (Image credit: Volodymyr Zelenskyy via Twitter)

The bombing occurred despite an agreed ceasefire that was put in place on Saturday (March 5) to allow thousands of citizens to escape Mariupol. The coastal city of more than 400,000 people has been bombarded with shells "continuously" since Russian forces surrounded the city a week ago, deputy mayor Sergiy Orlov told The Guardian and other foreign media in a call on Wednesday.

According to Orlov, the city has spent the last eight days without heat, power, gas or electricity, after Russian tanks destroyed all 15 power lines on the outskirts of the city, as well as the city's gas connection. 

The city has been able to evacuate between 2,000 and 3,000 residents per day, using a fleet of municipal buses, Orlov added. The deputy mayor estimates that half of the city's population – 200,000 people – are trying to flee. 

Originally published on Live Science. 

Brandon Specktor
Senior Writer

Brandon has been a senior writer at Live Science since 2017, and was formerly a staff writer and editor at Reader's Digest magazine. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, CBS.com, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website and other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona, with minors in journalism and media arts. He enjoys writing most about space, geoscience and the mysteries of the universe.