A children’s hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been destroyed by Russian air strikes, officials say.
The city council said the damage was “colossal”.
Russian forces dropped “several bombs” and also hit a maternity ward, it said.
Authorities are trying to establish how many people have been killed or wounded.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were children under the wreckage.
He tweeted: “Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage.
“Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity.”
Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity. pic.twitter.com/FoaNdbKH5k
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 9, 2022
Ukrainian MP Dmytro Gurin shared footage of the damage on twitter, and said people had been pulled from the rubble.
Mariupol. Russian artillery ruined maternity hospital and children hospital. A lot of killed and wounded women. No information about children and newborn yet. Hey, @UN how are you doing? Please retweet pic.twitter.com/QJSfUMMngW
— Dmytro Gurin, Ukrainian MP (@DmytroGurinMP) March 9, 2022
The reports could not immediately be verified. Russia has denied targeting civilians.
Its troops have been laying siege to the southern port city for days.
Thousands of people have been without power, sanitation and basic necessities for almost a week.
Bodies have been left lying in the street, and there are fires burning across the city.
According to president Zelensky, a child died of dehydration after the Russian military cut off the water supply.
There have been several attempts to get trapped residents out, but Ukraine says Russian shelling is still preventing people from leaving.
It has accused Russian forces of breaking ceasefire agreements and bombing an evacuation route for civilians.
Ukraine’s foreign minister said Russia was holding over 400,000 residents “hostage” in the city, blocking aid and escape routes.
Dmytro Kuleba wrote on twitter: “Indiscriminate shelling continues. Almost 3,000 newborn babies lack medicine and food. I urge the world to act.”
Russia continues holding hostage over 400.000 people in Mariupol, blocks humanitarian aid and evacuation. Indiscriminate shelling continues. Almost 3.000 newborn babies lack medicine and food. I urge the world to act! Force Russia to stop its barbaric war on civilians and babies!
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 9, 2022
Capturing Mariupol could allow Moscow to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.