Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has accused Russia of carrying out an air strike that severely damaged a maternity hospital in the southern port city of Mariupol.
President Zelensky said the “direct strike” on the hospital had caused “colossal” damage and left women and children trapped under rubble.
Regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, later said at least 17 people were wounded in the attack, including women in labour. The reports could not immediately be verified, according to Reuters.
Russia had said it would hold fire to let thousands of civilians flee Mariupol and other besieged cities on Wednesday. But the city council said the hospital had been hit several times by an air strike.
Greece evacuates people from Ukraine on Greek ships:
This attack comes as renewed efforts to evacuate civilians from besieged and bombarded Ukrainian cities were under way on Wednesday.
A Greek Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed that Greece is running five operations to evacuate Greek citizens, their relatives and other nationalities from Odessa, Kiev and Mariupol on Greek-owned ships.
Speaking at a regular press briefing, Alexandros Papaioannou complemented the remaining Greek diplomatic staff in Ukraine, embassy officials in Bucharest and the ministry in Athens for their work in getting Greeks in Ukraine to safety.
He said officials were working in close coordination with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Red Cross.
According to data released by the Hellenic Police (ELAS) on Wednesday, a total of 5,878 Ukrainian refugees, of whom 1,853 are minors, have already arrived in Greece since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
READ MORE: Greece sending military, civilian aid to Ukraine.