Mariupol’s Child Rehab Hospital Devastated by Strikes

Footage released by the Mariupol City Council on March 25 revealed that besieged Ukrainian city’s recently-built Children’s Rehabilitation Center had been severely damaged by strikes. The hospital had opened just seven months earlier, on August 25, after undergoing a major reconstruction with financial assistance from the EU’s European Investment Fund (EIB), the authorities said. The modernized facility catered to children with disabilities from birth up to the age 18, the council said. In a statement on the damage, the city council wrote, “Another example of Mariupol’s cooperation with international partners has turned into ruins […] A place that was meant to save children’s lives, destroyed by those who decided to forcibly ‘liberate’ us […] liberated from the very right to life,” according to a Google-generated translation. It’s not clear when the damage was inflicted. For weeks, the southern city has been under heavy bombardment by Russian forces, hindering access to timely and verifiable reports from the city. “For the occupiers, there is no limit to cynicism; there is no limit to cruelty,” the council’s statement continued. “They don’t care who their target is – people, houses, kindergartens, hospitals, or the Drama Theater,” they wrote. Hours earlier, Mariupol council, citing eyewitnesses, said 300 people were estimated to have died when Russian forces bombed the Mariupol Drama Theater on March 16. On March 14, the European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer had issued a statement condemning the Russian attacks, and said that after the Russian invasion of 2014, the EIB had invested in more than 200 infrastructure projects in cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Melitopol, and Mariupol. “Now these and other cities are besieged by Russian airstrikes and shelling, with dozens of civilians killed, hundreds injured, and countless buildings damaged or destroyed,” Hoyer wrote. “But we rebuilt before, and we will rebuild again, in a free and independent Ukraine,” he said. Credit: Mariupol City Council via Storyful

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