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War in Ukraine: Mariupol maternity hospital forcibly evacuated to Russia

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The town hall of Mariupol (Ukraine) accused, this Wednesday, March 30, the Russian army of having forcibly evacuated a maternity hospital from the city to Russia.

“More than 70 people, women and medical personnel were forcibly taken away by the occupants of maternity hospital No. 2 in the left bank district,” the town hall said on Telegram.

In total, more than 20,000 residents of Mariupol were evacuated “against their will” to Russia, according to the municipality, which claims that the Russians confiscated their papers and redirected them “to distant Russian cities”.

This information is unverifiable from an independent source, Mariupol being besieged since the end of February with failing communications.

“a crime against humanity”

Another maternity and a pediatric hospital in Mariupol had been hit by a bombardment on March 9, arousing the indignation of the international community. At least three people including a child had died in this strike.

The head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov then justified the bombardment by assuring that the building of this maternity served, according to him, as a base for a Ukrainian nationalist battalion.

Mariupol: the dramatic humanitarian situation

“This maternity ward has long since been taken over by the Azov battalion and other radicals, and all the women in childbirth, all the nurses and all the support staff have been thrown out,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that Russian attacks on Mariupol were “a crime against humanity”.

About 160,000 civilians are still stuck in Mariupol, a city that has been shelled and in the grip of fierce fighting. They face a humanitarian disaster, living holed up in shelters without electricity and lacking food and water.

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