Russia Disputes Reports of Bombing at Maternity Hospital in Mariupol, Calling It ‘Fake News’

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Accuses ‘Ukrainian radicals’ of having set up combat positions in the hospital

Russia asserted Thursday that the claim from Ukraine that Moscow forces were responsible for the bombing of a maternity hospital in the port city of Mariupol was “fake news.”

“That’s how fake news is born,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Twitter.

He said that Russia had said in a statement on March 7 that the hospital in Mariupol “has been turned into a military object” from which Ukrainian radicals were firing.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia shared Polyanskiy’s statement on its Twitter page.

The March 7 statement was delivered by Russian Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the U.N. Security Council.

“Ukrainian radicals show their true face more distinctly by the day,” Nebenzia said. “Locals reports [sic] that Ukraine’s Armed Forces kicked out personnel of natal hospital #1 of the city of Mariupol and set up a firing site within the facility.”

Russia has also previously denied targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure as part of its campaign in Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials claimed that Russian aircraft bombed the children’s hospital on Wednesday, after which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of carrying out genocide.

“Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror?”

After the strike, the Mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko, called for a no-fly zone to be imposed over Ukraine.

“Today I am asking the global community for help. Close the sky over Ukraine. Our will has not been broken, we will fight to the end,” Boichenko said in a video message posted to Telegram. “We have motivated soldiers and officers who defend our homeland. But today we need support.”

Ukrainian authorities said at least 17 people were injured in the attack. Police in Ukraine later released footage showing the damage at the site.

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

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