Mariupol city council said the Russian strike killed three people, including a child.
10 March 2022
The “despicable” bombing of a maternity hospital in Ukraine is a war crime committed by Russian troops, the UK’s armed forces minister has said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strike in Mariupol was part of a “genocide” on his people.
Three people, including a child, were killed in the attack, according to the besieged city’s council.
Defence minister James Heappey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that UK intelligence believes the strike came from artillery rather than the air, but that Britain is “still looking at exactly (what happened)”.
The Army veteran said that, even if Russian troops did not deliberately target the medical complex, the attack – which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described as “depraved” – still amounts to a war crime.
Mr Heappey told BBC Breakfast: “We ask ourselves the question how did this happen? Was it an indiscriminate use of artillery or missiles into a built-up area, or was a hospital explicitly targeted?
“Both are equally despicable, both, as the Ukrainians have pointed out, would amount to a war crime.”
Pressed on whether he thinks the attack constitutes a war crime, he replied: “Yes, if you deliberately target a piece of civilian infrastructure like a hospital, yes.
“If you use indiscriminate artillery into an urban area without due regard for the reality, you could hit a protected site like a hospital, then that too, in my view, is.”