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World accuses Russia of war crimes after bombing maternity hospital

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Multiple world leaders condemned Russia for bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. The video above includes scenes from the Wednesday bombing, as well as some of the reaction from world leaders. The bombing killed three and wounded 17 others, including pregnant women, doctors and children.

Russia’s Defense Ministry denied responsibility for the bombing Thursday. Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov claimed the explosions were caused by explosive devices planted nearby in a “staged provocation to incite anti-Russian agitation in the West.” Despite this, Vice President Kamala Harris called an investigation into potential Russian war crimes coming out of its invasion of Ukraine.

“Absolutely there should be an investigation and we should all be watching,” Vice President Harris said at a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. “And I have no question in the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in terms of this aggression and these atrocities I have no doubt.”

Duda called for more sanctions on Russia.

“If hospitals are bombed where pregnant women are staying, where children are staying, when ordinary people are killed, where bombs are dropped, when missiles are launched into residential houses, where there are no military installations, then this is an act of barbarity and bearing the features of a genocide,” President Duda said. “It aims at eliminating and destroying a nation.”

While Harris didn’t directly accuse Russia of a war crime for the maternity hospital bombing, Britain’s armed forces minister did.

“These atrocities are being watched, they are being catalogued and people will be held to account,” James Heappey said in London on Thursday.

“Western countries are working together to make sure that that evidence is gathered in the best way so that people can be held to account,” Heappey said. “But let’s be clear, what Putin is doing is not a war waged between two militaries, right now he has besieged a number of Ukrainian cities and he’s waged a war against Ukrainian civilians.”

The backlash to the maternity hospital bombing comes as the latest talks between Russia and Ukraine yielded little in the way of progress. Ukraine accused Russia of ignoring its plea for humanitarian access to rescue civilians trapped in Ukrainian cities. In a video message Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian leaders “will definitely be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes.”

“You will bear responsibility just as all those who give orders to bomb civilians,” President Zelenskyy said. “And then, it will definitely happen, you will be hated by Russian citizens.”

Kamala Harris, US Vice President: “Absolutely there should be an investigation and we should all be watching. And I have no question in the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in terms of this aggression and these atrocities I have no doubt.”

James Heappey, UK Minister for the Armed Forces: “What you see on your TV screens is a war crime. Now clearly there is evidence to be gathered in which to prove that it is a war crime and Western countries are working together to make sure that that evidence is gathered in the best way so that people can be held to account. But let’s be clear, what Putin is doing is not a war waged between two militaries, right now he has besieged a number of Ukrainian cities and he’s waged a war against Ukrainian civilians.”

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister: “And I came here with a humanitarian purpose, to walk out from the meeting with the decision to arrange a humanitarian corridor in and from Mariupol, from Mariupol for civilians who want to flee this area of fear and struggle and a humanitarian corridor to bring in(to) Mariupol humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, Minister Lavrov was not in a position to commit himself to it, but he will correspond with respective authorities on this issue.”

Multiple world leaders condemned Russia for bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. The video above includes scenes from the Wednesday bombing, as well as some of the reaction from world leaders. The bombing killed three and wounded 17 others, including pregnant women, doctors and children.

Russia’s Defense Ministry denied responsibility for the bombing Thursday. Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov claimed the explosions were caused by explosive devices planted nearby in a “staged provocation to incite anti-Russian agitation in the West.” Despite this, Vice President Kamala Harris called an investigation into potential Russian war crimes coming out of its invasion of Ukraine.

“Absolutely there should be an investigation and we should all be watching,” Vice President Harris said at a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. “And I have no question in the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in terms of this aggression and these atrocities I have no doubt.”

Duda called for more sanctions on Russia.

“If hospitals are bombed where pregnant women are staying, where children are staying, when ordinary people are killed, where bombs are dropped, when missiles are launched into residential houses, where there are no military installations, then this is an act of barbarity and bearing the features of a genocide,” President Duda said. “It aims at eliminating and destroying a nation.”

While Harris didn’t directly accuse Russia of a war crime for the maternity hospital bombing, Britain’s armed forces minister did.

“These atrocities are being watched, they are being catalogued and people will be held to account,” James Heappey said in London on Thursday.

“Western countries are working together to make sure that that evidence is gathered in the best way so that people can be held to account,” Heappey said. “But let’s be clear, what Putin is doing is not a war waged between two militaries, right now he has besieged a number of Ukrainian cities and he’s waged a war against Ukrainian civilians.”

The backlash to the maternity hospital bombing comes as the latest talks between Russia and Ukraine yielded little in the way of progress. Ukraine accused Russia of ignoring its plea for humanitarian access to rescue civilians trapped in Ukrainian cities. In a video message Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian leaders “will definitely be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes.”

“You will bear responsibility just as all those who give orders to bomb civilians,” President Zelenskyy said. “And then, it will definitely happen, you will be hated by Russian citizens.”

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