Russian soldiers are accused of holding patients and staff at the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital in Ukraine hostage on the 20th day of attacks on the country. The accusations were made today (15) by the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, and the NGO MHRI (Media Human Rights Initiative).
According to the NGO, the hospital was taken over by Russian soldiers, who fired shots at the scene and prevented anyone from leaving.
On Twitter, Kyrylenko said the health facility was hit and was largely destroyed. This would have led doctors to perform consultations in the basement, where they transferred most of the patients.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said yesterday (14) that Russia has attacked 31 health facilities since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Also in Mariupol, a children’s hospital and maternity hospital was bombed on 9 March.
Located in a strategic area for the Russians, close to the border between the countries and in the port region, Mariupol has been one of the main targets since the beginning of the invasion. Ukraine’s Attorney General’s Office reported yesterday that more than 2,500 city residents were killed in the attacks.
Two journalists from the American broadcaster Fox News died during coverage of the war: cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and producer Oleksandra Kurshynova. The two were in the same car as journalist Benjamin Hall near Kiev; the vehicle was hit during an attack.
The death of the two was announced today. Hall was taken to a hospital, but there is no information on his condition.
So far, the deaths of three journalists who worked for American vehicles have been computed: in addition to Zakrzenwski and Kurshynova, journalist Brent Renaud was killed on Sunday (13) in Irpin, also in the Kiev region, while covering the refugee situation for to Time Studios.
Humanitarian corridors and siege of Kiev
The Ukrainian government today announced more corridors for the evacuation of civilians. A government official told CNN that about 29,000 people left the country through the corridors on Tuesday.
According to the UN (United Nations), a child becomes a refugee every second in Ukraine; the agency estimates that more than 3 million people have left the country since the beginning of the conflicts.
In the capital Kiev, the city government extended the curfew to 35 hours, scheduled to end on Thursday morning (17). “Today is a difficult and dangerous time,” said Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko. The measure was adopted in the face of the increasingly tight siege of the city by the Russians.
Correspondent André Liohn — who covers the Ukraine-Russia war for the UOL and Folha de S.Paulo, straight from Kiev — said, during UOL News today, that no place in the Ukrainian capital is 100% safe.
Earlier, three heads of state visited Kiev even amid the attacks: Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, Petr Fiala, the Czech premier, and Janez Jansa, the leader of Slovenia.
Morawiecki shared images of the meeting on social media and said the visit was a way of showing Ukraine that she “can count on the help of her friends”.
The 20th day of the war in Ukraine ended with no progress in the ceasefire negotiations. Talks will resume tomorrow. There are reports that there have been attacks on Kiev, Mariupol, Sumy, Dnipro and Kharkiv, where the city estimates 600 buildings were destroyed by Russian bombing.
*With information from AFP, ANSA, Reuters and DW