Russia Bombs Maternity Hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine Claims

Russia has previously targeted medical facilities in other armed conflicts, including the Syrian civil war.

Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Ukrainian officials accused Russia of destroying a maternity and children’s hospital in the besieged port city of Mariupol, even after both sides had agreed to a tentative ceasefire to allow civilians to escape.

Victims, including children, were trapped beneath the wreckage, Ukrainian authorities claimed. Photos taken in the aftermath of the bombing showed rescue workers evacuating pregnant women covered in dust. 

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy branded the attack an “atrocity” and reiterated his call for world leaders to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. 

Over the last week, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has entered a more vicious phase as Russian armed forces began to bomb civilian areas in major cities. Mariupol, a strategically and symbolically significant city on the Sea of Azov, has been encircled by Russian forces for days. According to Deputy Mayor Sergiy Orlov, the incessant shelling has killed at least 1,170 people. 

The Mariupol city council has accused Russia of attempting to create a humanitarian crisis by deliberately bombing civilian infrastructure in the city to shut off heat, water, electricity, and transportation. Ukrainian officials have also accused Russian forces of attacking a convoy attempting to evacuate civilians and deliver food, water, and medicine through an agreed-upon safe corridor. 

The Mariupol hospital wasn’t the first medical facility that Russian armed forces have bombed during the invasion. On February 24, a cluster munition landed just outside a hospital in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, killing 4 civilians and injuring 10, according to Human Rights Watch. 

Russia has also destroyed hospitals in previous armed conflicts. In 1999, the bombing of a maternity hospital in Chechnya killed at least 27 people, predominantly infants and mothers. Russia’s targeting of medical facilities reached new extremes during the Syrian civil war. By 2017, Syria, with Russia’s help, had attacked more than 300 medical facilities, killing almost 800 medical personnel. 

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate