Russian forces occupy Mariupol hospital, hold patients and staff hostage: Ukrainian human rights group

Russian forces occupy Mariupol hospital, hold patients and staff hostage: Ukrainian human rights group

Mariupol native describes conditions in her home city as attacks continue

Mariupol, Ukraine native Tania Shevel on fearing for the safety of her family as the city has lack of supplies and damaged infrastructure.

Residents of Mariupol, Ukraine, have reportedly contacted a human rights organization with complaints that Russian forces have occupied an intensive care hospital.

The Media Initiative for Human Rights in Ukraine said in a Tuesday Facebook post that residents of the city contacted its hotline to report the occupation of Russian troops at the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital.

“Hospital staff and patients are held hostage,” the media hotline said.

Russian forces are apparently firing at the windows of the hospital in an effort to trigger a response from Ukrainian soldiers, according to the Media Initiative for Human Rights.

Russian troops have threatened to shoot at those trying to escape, the organization said.

Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital
(Google Maps)

“The Media Initiative for Human Rights calls on the international community to take all possible measures to stop the Russian Federation war crime, which is happening just at this moment, and to release doctors, patients, civilians” whom the Russian army is holding hostage as a “living shield,” the Media Initiative said, according to a Facebook translation.

A witness claimed Russian troops are forcing other civilians inside the hospital as well, as Ukrainian journalist Anastasia Magazova first reported.

A woman walks past a burning apartment building after shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Sunday, March 13, 2022.
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The intensive care hospital occupation comes after Russian forces shelled a maternity ward last week, killing a total of five people, including a mother and her unborn child, and injuring more than a dozen others.

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The attacks against Mariupol have left residents without water, gas, electricity and food. 

Russia has not kept agreements to keep humanitarian corridors accessible to civilians attempting to flee the port city, according to Ukrainian officials.

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