Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister at Mariupol Hospital: ‘There is no doubt that this was a targeted attack’

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanichina confirmed an attack by Russian forces on a children’s hospital in the city of Mariupol, saying “there is no doubt that this was a targeted attack.” It also warned that Russia shut down the Chernobyl nuclear plant and claimed this was part of a series of reckless measures that increase the risk of a nuclear accident.

Olha Stefanichina, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, confirmed that Russian forces had bombed the children’s hospital and maternity ward in the coastal city of Mariupol, causing “many” casualties. Local officials said late Wednesday that 17 people were wounded in the raid.

Stefanichina denounced it as a deliberate attack on a civilian target, adding that it was in line with Russia’s continued violation of agreements to establish humanitarian corridors. It accused Moscow of failing to implement the agreement, adding that the only evacuations carried out were international evacuations.

She said Ukraine had limited hope that talks scheduled between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia on Thursday in Turkey would bear fruit. She renewed calls by Western countries to impose a no-fly zone on humanitarian grounds, adding that the supply of combat aircraft to Ukraine by NATO was still on the table.

It warned that Russia shut down the Chernobyl nuclear plant and claimed that this was part of a series of reckless measures that increase the risk of a nuclear accident. While the International Atomic Energy Agency claimed that the blackout did not create a safety issue, it said the danger does exist and must be addressed.

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