AP

Attacks hits Ukraine children’s hospital, officials say

Mar 9, 2022, 9:29 AM | Updated: 10:55 am
Leavitt Ukraine...
A child is carried on a stroller across an improvised path while fleeing Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian attack severely damaged a children’s hospital and maternity ward in the besieged port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian officials said Wednesday, as citizens trying to escape shelling on the outskirts of Kyiv streamed toward the capital amid warnings from the West that Moscow’s invasion is about to take a more brutal and indiscriminate turn.

LIVE COVERAGE: Click here to listen live or watch our live stream below. 

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter that there were “people, children under the wreckage” of the hospital and called the strike an “atrocity.” Authorities said they were trying to establish how many people had been killed or wounded.

Mariupol’s city council said on its social media site that the damage was “colossal.”

Meanwhile, civilians trying to escape the Kyiv suburb of Irpin were forced to make their way across the slippery wooden planks of a makeshift bridge, because the Ukrainians blew up the concrete span to Kyiv days ago to slow the Russian advance,

With sporadic gunfire echoing behind them, firefighters dragged an elderly man to safety in a wheelbarrow, a child gripped the hand of a helping soldier, and a woman inched her way along cradling a fluffy cat inside her winter coat. On the other side, they trudged past a crashed van with the words “Our Ukraine” written in the dust coating its windows.

“We have a short window of time at the moment,’’ said Yevhen Nyshchuk, a member of Ukraine’s territorial defense forces. “Even if there is a ceasefire right now, there is a high risk of shells falling at any moment.”

Authorities announced the new cease-fire Wednesday morning to allow thousands of civilians to escape from towns around Kyiv as well as the southern cities of Mariupol, Enerhodar and Volnovakha, Izyum in the east and Sumy in the northeast. Previous attempts to establish safe evacuation corridors largely failed because of Russian attacks.

It was not immediately clear whether anyone was able to leave other cities, but people streamed out of Kyiv’s suburbs, many headed for the city center, even as explosions were heard in the capital and air raid sirens sounded repeatedly. From there, they planned to board trains bound for western Ukrainian regions not under attack,

In Mariupol, local authorities hurried to bury the dead in a mass grave. City workers dug a trench some 25 meters (yards) long at one of the city’s old cemeteries and made a sign of the cross as they pushed bodies wrapped in carpets or bags over the edge.

Thousands of people are thought to have been killed, both civilians and soldiers, in two weeks of fighting since President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded. The U.N. estimates more than 2 million people have fled the country, the biggest exodus of refugees in Europe since the end of World War II.

The fighting cut power to the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear plant, raising safety concerns about the spent fuel that is stored at the site and must be kept cool. But the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said it saw “no critical impact on safety” from the loss of power.

The crisis in Ukraine is likely to get worse as Russian forces step up their bombardment of cities in response to stronger than expected resistance. Russian losses have been “far in excess” of what Putin and his generals expected, CIA Director William Burns said Tuesday.

An intensified push by Russian forces could mean “an ugly next few weeks,” Burns told a congressional committee, warning that Putin is likely to “grind down the Ukrainian military with no regard for civilian casualties.”

Britain’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday that fighting continued northwest of Kyiv. The cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol were being heavily shelled and remained encircled by Russian forces.

Russian forces are placing military equipment on farms and amid residential buildings in the northern city of Chernihiv, Ukraine’s military said. In the south, Russians in civilian clothes are advancing on the city of Mykolaiv, a Black Sea shipbuilding center of a half-million people, it said.

The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, is building up defenses in cities in the north, south and east, and forces around Kyiv are “holding the line” against the Russian offensive, authorities said.

A series of air raid alerts Wednesday morning urged residents of Kyiv to go to bomb shelters amid fears of incoming missiles. Explosions were later heard.

In Irpin, a town of 60,000, police officers and soldiers helped elderly residents from their homes. One man was hoisted out of a damaged structure on a makeshift stretcher, while another was pushed toward Kyiv in a shopping cart. Fleeing residents said they had been without power and water for the past four days.

Regional administration head Oleksiy Kuleba said the crisis for civilians is deepening in and around Kyiv, with the situation particularly dire in the suburbs.

“Russia is artificially creating a humanitarian crisis in the Kyiv region, frustrating the evacuation of people and continuing shelling and bombing small communities,” he said.

The situation is even worse in Mariupol, a strategic city of 430,000 people on the Sea of Azov that has been encircled by Russian forces for the past week.

Efforts to evacuate residents and deliver badly needed food, water and medicine failed Tuesday because of what the Ukrainians said were continued Russian attacks.

The city took advantage of a lull in the shelling Wednesday to hurriedly bury 70 people. Some were soldiers, but most were civilians.

The work was conducted efficiently and without ceremony. No mourners were present, no families to say their goodbyes.

One woman stood at the gates of the cemetery to ask whether her mother was among those being buried. She was.

___

Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Associated Press journalists Felipe Dana and Andrew Drake in Kyiv, along with reporters from around the world, contributed to this report.

AP

FILE - House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., responds to reporters at the Capitol in Wash...
The Associated Press

McCarthy, Trump have ‘positive’ call despite Jan. 6 audio

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy had a positive phone call with then President Donald Trump.
5 months ago
FILE - In this photo  provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian missile cruis...
The Associated Press

Sailors’ families seek answers about Russian ship sinking

Families of Russian sailors aboard the Moskva are seeking information about the ship sinking.
5 months ago
President Joe Biden walks to board Air Force One, Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Ba...
The Associated Press

Biden announces heavy artillery, other weapons for Ukraine

President Joe Biden announced another $1,3 billion in military aide for Ukraine.
5 months ago
Ukrainian soldiers walk on a destroyed bridge in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on Wednesday, Apr...
The Associated Press

‘Days or hours left’: Russia tightens the noose in Mariupol

Russian forces tighten their grip in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
5 months ago
A wind-driven wildfire burns at the edge of U.S. 89 on the outskirts of Flagstaff, Ariz., on Tuesda...
The Associated Press

Southwest wildfires force evacuations, tighten resources

An Arizona wildfire more than tripled in size on Wednesday as winds pushed flames through a neighborhood near Flagstaff.
5 months ago
A Ukrainian soldier inspects a Russian tank after recent battles at the village of Moshchun close t...
The Associated Press

Russia pours in more troops and presses attack in the east

Russia poured additional troops into the eastern half of Ukraine in a potential battle for that part of the country.
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Attacks hits Ukraine children’s hospital, officials say