Russia’s long history of bombing hospitals

Russia’s long history of bombing hospitals

Kareem Shaheen writes:

In 2017, I visited the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun two days after it was hit by a chemical attack by the Syrian regime. After visiting the site of the attack, I went to a local hospital that had received many of the victims but that was evacuated because it came under sustained aerial bombardment shortly after the attack. Locals and militias, who had endured bombing by both the Assad regime and the Russians over the months since Moscow had intervened in the war, believed Russian jets had carried out the attack on the hospital.

The hospital had been built into the side of a hill to shield it from occasional bombing, but it didn’t seem like it made a huge difference. Shattered glass was everywhere, medicines strewn about the floor, equipment destroyed, the hallways darkened. A sanctum of healing had been transformed into a death trap for people who were dying in one of the most painful and horrifying ways known to man.

Everything about the assault on the hospital was savage and barbaric, but the part that was most emblematic of its depravity was a collapsed shed that lay across the entrance in the courtyard. Paramedics had placed the bodies of deceased victims there while they tended to those still drawing breath. The bombing caused the shed’s roof to collapse on those who were already dead. One local said it was as though they died twice that day.

I recalled the images from that day in my mind when I woke up to news on Thursday of Russia bombing a children and maternity hospital in Ukraine’s Mariupol on Wednesday. [Continue reading…]

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