Ukraine: Ex-RAF chief says use of nuclear weapons is possible
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For nearly two weeks, the city has been surrounded by Russian troops with gas, running water and electricity all cut off. Local authorities say at least 2,500 deaths have been confirmed in the city.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of Donetsk Oblast, wrote on his Telegram channel: “Russian occupiers have taken doctors and patients hostage.”
He said one of the hostages told local officials that the Russians had herded about 400 civilians into the hospital and were preventing anyone from leaving.
The hospital, he said, was the same that was damaged by a Russian strike last week.
Mariupol is the centre of a growing humanitarian crisis, as food and medical supplies run out and aid is not being allowed in.
The city has been under constant Russian shelling, with an estimated 350,000 residents trapped.
On Tuesday, about 2,000 cars left Mariupol, the local council said, and 2,000 others were waiting to leave. But no aid was allowed in.
One of the unnamed hostages was told the Times: “We can’t get out of the hospital.
“They’re shooting a lot. We’re sitting in the cellar.”
On Tuesday, a pregnant woman who was pictured being evacuated from a bombed maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol has died along with her baby.
She was rushed to another hospital following the Russian attack last week, the AP news agency reported.
As doctors tried to save her – and realising she was losing her baby – she is said to have cried out: “Kill me now!”
Following the bombing in Mariupol, Russia denied it had launched strikes on a hospital in the port city.
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Two of Russia’s ambassadors to the UN, and in London said images of the atrocity were “fake news”.
Moscow claimed the building had been taken over by Ukrainian extremists and that no patients or doctors were left inside.
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