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Russia fights destroy, kills nearly 400 hospitals, medical centers – Zelenskyy – SABC News

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has devastated hundreds of hospitals and other medical institutions, leaving doctors without medicines to treat cancer or the possibility of performing surgery, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy said that many places even lack basic antibiotics in eastern and southern Ukraine, the main battlefields.

“If you look at medical infrastructure, Russian troops have destroyed or damaged nearly 400 health facilities since today: hospitals, maternity services, outpatient clinics,” Zelenskyy said in a video address to a medical charity group on Thursday. In areas occupied by Russian troops, the situation was catastrophic, he said.

“This amounts to a complete shortage of medicines for cancer patients. It means extreme difficulties as a complete shortage of insulin for diabetes. It is impossible to perform surgery. It even means, quite simply, a shortage of antibiotics.

In one of the most convicted acts of the war, a maternity hospital was almost destroyed on March 9 in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Russia has claimed that photos of the attack were leaked, saying the site was used by armed Ukrainian groups.

The Kremlin says it only targets military or strategic places and does not target civilians.

Ukraine daily reports civilian casualties from Russian bombings and fighting, and accuses Russia of war crimes.

Russia denies the allegations. Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said 25 people were injured in intense bombings in the city of Kramatorsk, the site of a bomb blast near the railway station last month that left more than 50 people dead.

He said a total of 32 residential buildings had been damaged in the bombings. Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield reports by Russia and Ukraine.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists.

Ukraine and the West say the fascist accusation is baseless and that the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.

More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled abroad since the beginning of the invasion.

Russia has turned its heavy fire on eastern and southern Ukraine after failing to capture the capital, Kiev.

The new front is aimed at restricting Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea, essential for its grain and metal exports, and connecting Russian-controlled territory in the east with Crimea, seized by Moscow in 2014.

‘BLOODY’ BATTLE FOR MARIUPOL

In the port city of Mariupol, an estimated 200 civilians, along with Ukrainian resistance fighters, are trapped underground in the Azovstal steel factory with little food or water.

The steel works were rocked by heavy explosions on Thursday as Russian troops fought for control of Ukraine’s last stronghold and the United Nations rushed to evacuate civilians.

President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready to provide safe passage for its citizens, but repeated calls for Ukrainian troops inside to disarm.

Putin declared victory over Mariupol on April 21 and ordered his troops to shut down the plant from the Soviet era, but not venture into its underground tunnel network.

Ukraine’s stubborn defense of Azovstal underscored Russia’s failure to occupy major cities in a 10-week war that has united Western powers in arming Kiev and punishing Moscow with sanctions.

Desperate, Ukrainian fighters reported heavy fighting with Russian troops in Azovstal.

A Ukrainian fighter who said he was in Azovstal accused Russian troops of breaking the plant’s defenses for a third day despite an earlier promise by Moscow to stop military activity to allow civilian evacuations.

“Heavy, bloody battles are going on,” said Captain Sviatoslav Palamar of the Azov Regiment of Ukraine. “Yet the Russians have not kept the promise of a ceasefire.”

Reuters could not independently verify his account or location.

The Kremlin denies Ukrainian allegations that Russian troops stormed the plant in recent days.

Aerial photos of the plant, released Thursday by the Azov Regiment of Ukraine, showed three explosions striking several parts of the large complex, which had turned silver into heavy, dark smoke.

Reuters verified the recording location by matching buildings with satellite images, but could not determine when the video was filmed.

Russia’s military has promised to halt its activities over the next two days in order to evacuate civilians.

The Kremlin said humanitarian corridors of the plant were in place.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Thursday that people would be evacuated from Mariupol on Friday at 1200 local time (0900 GMT).

MORE SANCTIONS LOOM

Outrageous sanctions from Washington and European allies have cost Russia’s economy $ 1.8 trillion, while billions of dollars in military aid have helped Ukraine frustrate the invasion.

European Union countries are “almost there” in agreeing to the bloc’s proposed new package of sanctions against Russia, including an oil embargo, said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The Kremlin said Russia was weighing the reactions to the EU plan.

Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia may step up its offensive before May 9, when Moscow commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Russia fights destroy, kills nearly 400 hospitals, medical centers – Zelenskyy – SABC News

Source link Russia fights destroy, kills nearly 400 hospitals, medical centers – Zelenskyy – SABC News

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