The Russian army claimed Thursday that an attack on a children’s hospital in the southeastern Ukrainian port of Mariupol, which killed three including a child and caused global outrage, was a “staged provocation” by Ukraine.
“The Russian aviation carried out absolutely no missions to hit targets on the ground in the Mariupol area,” Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
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“The airstrike that allegedly took place is a completely staged provocation to maintain anti-Russian hype for a Western audience,” he said.
The bombing of the maternity hospital resulted in three deaths, including one child, according to the city’s mayor. An earlier tally by Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday said 17 people were injured.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24.
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