Russian state TV’s ‘Putin loves children’ claim before heartless attack on kids hospital

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Yesterday a maternity and children’s hospital in the port city of Mariupol was hit by a Russian air strike. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky labelled the attack a war crime and said that there were people trapped under the wreckage. After the attack, Mariupol Deputy Mayor Serhiy Orlov announced that a six-year-old child was among three people killed in the airstrike. 

He said: “We don’t understand how it’s possible in modern life to bomb a children’s hospital. 

“People cannot believe that it’s true.” 

Meanwhile, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional administration, which includes Mariupol, said at least 17 people were injured. 

He added that it happened during an agreed ceasefire with Russia.

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This heartless attack came four years after an hour-long programme aired on Russia’s state-run channel Rossiya-1, which claimed the President “loves children”.

The show, entitled ‘Moscow. Kremlin. Putin’, showcases Putin’s activities for the week.

This particular 2018 broadcast included a discussion with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskovy, who was eager to stress the Russian leader’s love for children, and his people as a whole.

According to the Moscow Times, Mr Peskov said: “Putin doesn’t only love children, he loves people in general.

“He’s a very human person.”

The television programme had been commissioned at a time in which the President’s ratings were suffering after he pushed through a controversial pension reform.

Most of the first episode showed Putin leading a number of Kremlin meetings, while there were also scenes of the President holidaying in Siberia with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. 

Putin’s ruthless attack on the Ukranian hospital has been condemned by leaders across the world.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless.”

Meanwhile Mr Zelensky described the attack as an “atrocity”.

He said: “Mauripol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity.”

He then called for Ukraine’s Western allies to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine, to protect the county from incessant Russian shelling.

However, NATO is reluctant to “close the sky”, with Putin having made veiled threats of severe or even nuclear retaliation to Western military involvement in Ukraine.

Mr Zelensky added: “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.”

According to the Mail Online, Putin met with his “children’s rights commissioner” in Moscow, while his army was shelling the Mariupol hospital. 

He reportedly held meetings to discuss changes to the law, which will allow Russians to adopt Ukrainian orphans, despite their parents likely to have been killed by Russian troops. 

Children from Donetsk and Luhansk who do not have Russian citizenship will be able to qualify for adoption, according to the rule change.

Putin said in the meeting: “There are extraordinary circumstances and it seems to me that we need to think not about bureaucratic delays, but about the interest of children.”

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