Russia has denied it has bombed a children’s hospital in Mariupol and said such claims were “fake news”.
Moscow claimed the building was formerly a maternity hospital that had been taken over by troops.
“That’s how fake news is born,” tweeted Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
Three killed in airstrike
The Mariupol city council said the airstrike on the hospital killed three people, including a child.
It said the attack also wounded at least 17 people, including women who were waiting to give birth, doctors, and children who were buried under the rubble.
Mr Polyanskiy said Russia had warned on 7 March that the hospital had been turned into a military location from which Ukrainians were firing.
Moscow warns of ‘information terrorism’
The Kremlin will seek information from the Russian military after it was accused of bombing the children’s hospital, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the claim Russian forces had bombed a children’s hospital in Mariupol amounted to “information terrorism”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russian forces “do not fire on civilian targets” and said on Thursday that Moscow would look into the incident.
Photos show how an explosion had blown out the windows and smashed apart much of the front of one building.
In one picture police and soldiers could be seen carrying away a bleeding woman who appears to be heavily pregnant.
The Russian Embassy in London also claimed that the images of pregnant women were played by actresses, although this tweet was deemed to have violated Twitter’s rules and now appears to be deleted.
Alongside two pictures, they wrote: “It’s the indeed pregnant beauty blogger Marianna Podgurskaya.
“She actually played roles of both pregnant women on the photos. And first photos were actually taken by famous propagandist photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, rather than rescuers and witnesses as one would expect.”
Zelenskyy accuses Russia of genocide
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of carrying out genocide after officials reported Russian aircraft had bombed the children’s hospital on Wednesday.
“A children’s hospital. A maternity hospital. How did they threaten the Russian Federation?” Mr Zelenskyy asked in his nightly video address.
“What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals, afraid of maternity hospitals, and destroys them?”
“There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin will be held “to account for his terrible crimes.”
Bombs also fell on two other hospitals in another city west of the capital.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it has confirmed 10 people died and 16 injured in attacks on health facilities and ambulances since the fighting began – it was unclear if this figure included the attack on the maternity hospital.