Ukraine ambassador says hospital bombings in children are ‘red lines’ and NATO must act now

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko told the BBC The timing of the bombing of a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol was a ‘red, red, red line’ and NATO must now intervene

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Ukraine: Ambassador says Putin crossed ‘red lines’

Russia’s bombing of a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol is a “red, red, red line” and NATO must intervene now, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK demanded this evening.

Vadym Prystaiko told BBC Question Time: “I believe there is something that cannot be done, but should be done to prevent it… Where is the red line for NATO to come and help us?

“I believe bombing such as maternity hospital, this has been a very red line.”

He also cited Putin’s attacks on fleeing civilians and a nuclear power plant, saying: “All of these are red lines that we don’t want him to cross, and we tell him as soon as possible.

“If you asked me who could tell him, I would guess the countries that have promised to protect us when we give up our nuclear weapons – these people should have told him.

A children’s hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine was attacked


@ ZelenskyyUa / Twitter)

“The United States, the United Kingdom, and then China and France, who joined the memorandum.”

A Russian air strike severely damaged a children’s hospital in the besieged Ukrainian port city today, burying patients under rubble and injuring working women, Ukraine said.

The bombing, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called an “act of brutality”, took place despite a ceasefire that was agreed to allow thousands of civilians trapped in the city to escape.

The city council said the hospital had been hit multiple times by an air strike, causing “huge” devastation.

The president tweeted: “Direct attack by Russian troops at maternity hospital. People and children lie under the rubble.”

“Russian forces did not open fire on civilian targets,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Reuters for comment, said.

Vadym Prystaiko told BBC Question Time: “I believe there is something that cannot be done, but should be done to prevent it… Where are the red lines for NATO to come and help us?”



Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has posted footage of the hospital showing blown windows and smoldering rubble.

The governor of the Donetsk region said 17 people were injured, including a woman in labor.

Boris Johnson tweeted: “There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenseless.

“The UK is seeking more support for Ukraine in its defense against air strikes and we will hold Putin accountable for his terrible crimes.”

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told MPs that the UK had delivered 3,615 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine and was looking at supplying anti-aircraft missiles.

However, he opposed calls for NATO jets to enforce a no-fly zone, which could involve shooting down the Kremlin plane and sparking an all-out NATO war with the Kremlin. Russia has nuclear weapons.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the West will be held accountable for what happens if it doesn’t send fighter jets to patrol the skies above the war-torn nation.

Ukraine has shared images of devastation at what they say is a hospital site



“Russia uses missiles, planes and helicopters against us, against civilians, against our cities, against our infrastructure,” he said. It is the humanitarian duty of the world to respond.”

However, speaking in the Commons, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace ruled out the no-fly zone, saying it could hamper Ukraine’s efforts to counter Russian artillery and missiles.

Germany said it would not send fighter jets to Ukraine, after the United States rejected a Polish offer to deliver Russian-made MiG-29 jets to Ukraine through a US base in Germany.

The plan fell through after the White House vetoed Warsaw’s attempt to hand over a squadron of MiG-29s to the Ukrainian air force amid fears it would drag NATO into a direct conflict.

Western officials have “serious concerns” that the Kremlin could go further and unleash devastating chemical weapons after Moscow was reportedly the “scene” for such an attack.

They also believe that Putin can “level the Ukraine” even though his war ultimately ended in defeat.

“We are seeing some misinformation from Moscow about non-conventional weapons,” said a Western official.

“We’ve seen this in Syria, the Russians started that conversation when they or their proxies were about to use those weapons there.”

Russia-backed Syria has repeatedly been accused of using chemical weapons during its bloody civil war.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found people exposed to Sarin gas in 2017 in the Khan Shaykhun area but did not identify who was responsible.

But Moscow vetoed a 2017 UN resolution that should have investigated who was responsible.

When asked if he feared Putin might deploy tactical nuclear weapons, Armed Forces Secretary James Heappey told LBC: “It’s a possibility but it’s a very small possibility, even even at this stage”.

1 Blocking Russian banks’ access to the West, with plans to switch to a full asset freeze for all Russian banks.

2 Sanctions on Russia’s central bank and financial institutions, already in effect.

3 Preventing Russian companies and the Russian state from increasing debt in the UK, has been enacted.

4 Assets frozen in front of individual oligarchs, 15 so far including Putin and Lavrov and more to come.

5 Targeting key strategic areas including defense with plans to be more in services and energy.

6 Block access to SWIFT, with the UK still pushing for a full SWIFT ban on all Russian banks.

7 Ban Russian planes and ships from landing in the UK, with new legislation next week aiming to put this on a more permanent basis.

8 Prohibit the export to Russia of ‘dual-use’ items such as electronic equipment that can be used in military computers or weapons.

9 Put a £50,000 limit on deposits by wealthy Russians in UK bank accounts.

10 Extension of the above sanctions against Belarus for its role in supporting the invasion of Russia.

11 Full extension of the UK-Crimea trade embargo against the ‘People’s Republics’ of Luhansk and Donetsk. But there is no date yet, as concerns about protecting Ukrainians remain.

12 Sanctions on all members of the Russian Parliament and Russian National Security who voted in favor of the act of aggression. Still in progress although the EU has acted.

For more information, click here.

He added “there are things we are more worried about” than nuclear weapons at the moment, such as thermobaric weapons.

Meanwhile, the UK is planning to put 100,000 Ukrainian children in schools, the Education Secretary confirmed.

Tory Minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Question Time: “We are planning to accommodate just the family reunion group of 100,000 children.”

It came as audience members and the Ukrainian ambassador gave the UK’s response to Ukrainian refugees on the top debate show.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former Prime Minister of Denmark, said: “It must be possible to do it faster because they are sitting somewhere, with nowhere to stay… and half, 40% are children.”

A British-Ukrainian spectator wearing his country’s flag said: “I don’t know why you guys are creating this logistical problem.”

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said the current Tory government has failed refugees “time and again” after a long and proud history.

“During the construction up to World War II, most of Europe turned against the Jews who were trying to flee, and then we became a nation that took away thousands of Asians. Ugandan origin, thousands of Vietnamese boat people, thousands of Cypriots,” he said.

He added: “Isn’t that the best of England? Is that the best we can do? Of course not “.

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