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This Is Genocide – Ukraine Accuses Russia Of War Crimes After Bombing Of Children’s Hospital

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Russia’s war in Ukraine entered its third week on Thursday with none of its key objectives reached despite thousands of people killed, more than two million made refugees, and thousands forced to cower in besieged cities under relentless bombardment.

Debris is seen on site of the destroyed Mariupol children’s hospital as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022 in this still image from a handout video obtained by Reuters.

Ukrainian forces including citizen-soldiers who only last month never dreamed of firing a weapon in anger were holding out in Kyiv and other frontlines, while Russian troops, tanks and artillery made slow progress from the north, south and east.

Moscow’s stated objectives of crushing the Ukrainian military and ousting the pro-Western elected government of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy remained out of reach, with Zelenskiy unshaken and lethal Western military aid pouring across the Polish and Romanian borders.

Western-led sanctions designed to cut the Russian economy and government from international financial markets were beginning to bite, with the Russian sharemarket and rouble plunging and ordinary Russians rushing to hoard cash.

Zelenskiy accused Russia of carrying out genocide after Ukrainian officials said Russian aircraft bombed a children’s hospital on Wednesday, burying patients in rubble despite a ceasefire deal for people to flee the besieged city of Mariupol.

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The attack, which authorities said injured women in labour and left children in the wreckage, underscored U.S. warnings that the biggest assault on a European state since 1945 could become increasingly attritional after Russia’s early failures.

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The White House condemned the hospital bombing as a “barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians”.

Russian had earlier pledged to halt firing so at least some trapped civilians could escape the port city, where hundreds of thousands have been sheltering without water or power for more than a week. Both sides blamed the other for the failure of the evacuation.

“What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals, is afraid of maternity hospitals, and destroys them?” Zelenskiy said in a televised address late on Wednesday.

Zelenskiy repeated his call for the West to tighten sanctions on Russia “so that they sit down at the negotiating table and end this brutal war”. The bombing of the children’s hospital, he said, was “proof that a genocide of Ukrainians is taking place”.

The Donetsk region’s governor said 17 people were wounded in the attack.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Reuters for comment, said: “Russian forces do not fire on civilian targets.” Russia calls its incursion a “special operation” to disarm its neighbour and dislodge leaders it calls “neo-Nazis.”

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Ukraine’s foreign ministry posted video footage of what it said was the hospital showing holes where windows should have been in a three-storey building. Huge piles of smouldering rubble littered the scene.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits positions of the country’s armed forces near the line of separation from with Russian-backed rebels in Donetsk Region, Ukraine 

The U.N. Human Rights body said it was verifying the number of casualties at Mariupol. The incident “adds to our deep concerns about indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas,” it added through a spokesperson.

Among more than 2 million total refugees from Ukraine, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday that more than 1 million children have fled the country since the invasion started on Feb 24. At least 37 had been killed and 50 injured, it said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said houses had been destroyed all across Ukraine. “Hundreds of thousands of people have no food, no water, no heat, no electricity and no medical care,” it said.

Photo Credit: Getty

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