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Russia has denied claims that it bombed a Ukrainian children’s hospital in Mariupol, after reports surfaced claiming that 17 people were injured in such an attack on Wednesday.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, admitted on Twitter Thursday that the structure was bombed by Russian forces but said that it was no longer operating as a hospital but was being used by the Ukrainian military to house forces.

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“That’s how #Fakenews is born,” the Russian diplomat said in the tweet, sharing a report with supporting evidence. “We warned in our statement back on 7 March that this hospital has been turned into a military object by radicals.”

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. 

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

“Very disturbing that UN spreads this information without verification,” the tweet added.

Initial reports of the attack immediately drew international criticism, as military forces typically do not attack civilian sites such as hospitals. 

A woman walks outside the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. 

A woman walks outside the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

On Twitter, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that the attack had taken place and shared a video of the aftermath, which he described as an “atrocity.” 

“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? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity,” he tweeted.

“An aerial bomb on a maternity hospital is the conclusive evidence that what is happening is a genocide of Ukrainians,” he added in a video address.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Russia’s “unconscionable attacks harming population centers,” a State Department spokesperson said.

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson similarly tweeted: “There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenseless. We will hold Putin to account for his terrible crimes.”

An injured pregnant woman walks downstairs in the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

An injured pregnant woman walks downstairs in the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Other photos and videos taken near the maternity hospital in Mariupol showed Ukrainian emergency services caring for women and children affected by the blast.





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