Russia denies responsibility for strike that destroyed hospital in Mariupol
The Russian Defense ministry says strike staged to boost anti-Western opposition to invasion
The Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday denied responsibility for the airstrike that destroyed a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine – injuring 17f and killing three, including a child.
Russian officials claim that the explosions Wednesday near the hospital were staged to smear Russia. The destruction has sparked global outrage including talks about possible warn crimes
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman, denied that the country's military struck the hospital. He said that the two explosions, which destroyed the building, were caused by devices planted close by. He called the incident incident, in what is now the third week of Russia's invasion of Ukraine a "staged provocation to incite anti-Russian agitation in the West."
Ukrainian officials are saying that constant shelling attacks have thwarted attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol. The country's deputy prime minister says 1,300 civilians have been killed in the city – a strategic port near the Azov Sea. The city, which has been under siege for the past nine days, has been left without food, water and power.