|President Vladimir Putin and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Russia and Ukraine|
World leaders have condemned a Russian attack on a children and maternity hospital on Wednesday night.
Russia, in an airstrike, bombed the maternity hospital located in Mariupol, southern Ukraine leaving many injured.
While the White House described the attack as a “barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians”, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a televised address accused Russia of genocide. He pleaded with world leaders to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
President Zelenskiy said, “What kind of country is this?A children’s hospital, a maternity ward. How did they threaten the Russian Federation? What is this country, the Russian Federation, that is afraid of hospitals, maternity wards and is destroying them?”
“Hospitals and schools are destroyed. Churches and ordinary buildings are destroyed. People are killed. Children are killed. The aerial bombing of a children’s hospital is the ultimate evidence that genocide of Ukrainians is happening.”
“Children are under the wreckage. This is an atrocity. How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity.”
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary during a briefing on Thursday said “As a mother, I know a number of you are mothers.it is horrifying to see the barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians in a sovereign country,”
Vadym Boichenko, the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol also appealed to U.S. and NATO to implement a no-fly zone following the bombing of the hospital.
Speaking in a video he said “Our will has not been broken, we will fight to the end. We have motivated soldiers and officers who defend our homeland,”
“Today we need support.Close the sky over Ukraine,” Mayor Boichenko said.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted “There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenseless, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be held “to account for his terrible crimes.”
Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State said Putin had no reason to bomb the hospital. “I say bombing a hospital is unacceptable. There are no reasons, there are no motivations, to do this,”
A no-fly zone is aimed at prohibiting Russian aircraft from flying into Ukraine to attack.
Ukrainian officials said 17 persons were reported to have been injured.
On Thursday the UK Government announced fresh sanctions which include full asset freeze and travel ban on seven of Russia’s wealthiest and most influential oligarchs.
Boris Johnson noted that there are no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s invasion. He said, “Today’s sanctions are the latest step in our ruthless pursuit of those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of Ukraine.”