In a recent statement released by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, “Children have been buried under rubble after a Russian airstrike hit a hospital in Mariupol.”
The President has taken it to Twitter that children were among the victims “under the wreckage”, calling the strike an “atrocity.”
Mariupol’s city council has released a statement that the maternity and children’s hospital has been destroyed, adding that it did not know about any casualty figures but that “the destruction is colossal.”
Meanwhile, the governor of the Donetsk region has said that around 17 people, including women in labour, were wounded in the airstrikes.
The governor further added that the airstrike happened during an agreed ceasefire period to allow civilians to escape safely.
At the same time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denounced the attack and said the UK is exploring “more support” for Ukraine to defend itself, adding, “We will hold Putin to account for his terrible crimes.”
It comes as the UN human rights office has verified 1,424 civilian casualties since Russia invaded two weeks ago – with 516 people killed and 908 injured.
The southern port city of Mariupol is covered by Russian troops and has been affected by heavy shelling for days, leaving thousands of people without food, water as well as electricity.
The Ukrainian government said 1,170 civilians had been killed in Mariupol since Russia called for a full-scale military operation, citing the city’s deputy mayor.
People in the city have been forced to get water from melting snow, while some bodies lay in the street from intense bombardment.