Russian Defence Ministry: war crimes in Mariupol committed by Ukrainian nationalists trapped in the city

Statements about strikes are a provocation, the Ministry of Defence of Russia notes

The Russian Ministry of Defence has denied Western media reports that Russian aircraft allegedly hit the Mariupol Hospital No. 3 yesterday. The Russian ministry stated that this was a “completely staged provocation” made to maintain the anti-Russian hype among the Western audience. They stressed that all war crimes in Mariupol are committed by Ukrainian nationalists trapped in the city.

According to the Ministry of Defence of Russia, a “silence regime” was declared in Mariupol yesterday for the safe evacuation of civilians of the city and Russian aviation did not perform any tasks to hit targets on the ground.

The Ministry of Defence recalled that medical institutions in Mariupol, including the hospital No. 3, stopped their regular operation at the end of February, and all staff and patients were dismissed by nationalists. At the moment, the hospital building has been converted into a stronghold of the national battalion Azov (banned in Russia), which is massively reported by residents of the city. And the photographs of the institution's territory contain evidence of two separate staged explosions near the hospital, the Ministry of Defence of Russia noted.

“The nature of external and internal damage to the building may mislead the mass non-professional audience in Europe and the USA. For which this staging was made. Not experts. A high-explosive aviation munition, even of lower power, simply would not have left anything from the outer walls of the building," the Ministry of Defenсe reported.

Today, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov commented on the accusations of the shelling of the maternity hospital No. 1 in Mariupol. According to him, it was used as the base of the Azov battalion (banned in Russia).

“It is not the first time we hear pathetic cries about the so-called atrocities that are being committed by the Russian armed forces. On March 7, three days ago, at the meeting of the UN Security Council, facts were presented by our delegation that this maternity hospital had long been seized by the Azov battalion and other radicals, from where all women in labour, all nurses, in general, all service personnel were dismissed. It was the base of the ultra-radical battalion Azov. These data were presented three days ago, so draw your own conclusions about how public opinion is being manipulated around the world," Lavrov said.

He noted that the Western media made very emotional stories about the destruction of this maternity hospital, but their vision of the situation is biased.

“Unfortunately, the second side of any situation, the side that allows, in general, to make an objective representation, does not enjoy special attention," the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed.

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Daria Pinegina