PARENTS were forced to leave their tiny premature babies in the hospital because of the news that 103 children had been killed by ruthless Russian troops.
Thousands of terrified Ukrainians are continuing to flee their homes nearly three weeks after Vladimir Putin’s bloody invasion began, with Russian forces repeatedly destroying major cities.
Mariupol is constantly being peeled – tied about 20,000 tablets Ukrainians left the besieged city, while an estimated 2,300 citizens were killed in the area.
But amid frenzied scenes as families tried to escape, a devastating photo from the city’s No 3 hospital shows three premature babies in bed – left behind by their desperate parents.
Hospitals in Mariupol continue to suffer relentless attacks by Russian force – with Putin’s soldiers are said to have taken hundreds of staff members and patients hostage for use as human shields.
It is understood that nearby residents have been forced out of their homes and into hospitals.
Sergei Orlov said about 400 people are currently being blocked from leaving the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital.
He told the BBC: “We received information that the Russian army has captured our largest hospital … and they are using our patients and doctors as hostages.
“We can confirm this information and the governor of the Donetsk region has also confirmed it. We received information that there were 400 people there. “
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said Russian troops were pulling people from nearby buildings and forcing them into hospitals.
Russian soldiers are said to have threatened to shoot anyone who tried to escape.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Mariupol was quickly running out of food and people were struggling for water, heating and medicine.
And Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, says there are serious problems trying to deliver humanitarian aid to this desperate city of 430,000 people.
She said a convoy full of supplies was stuck in nearby Berdyansk.
In a glimmer of hope, some 20,000 people managed to flee the city by driving along humanitarian corridors agreed with Russian forces – but hundreds of thousands remained trapped by shelling, many people without heating, electricity or running water.
According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a senior Zelensky aide, about 4,000 cars drove northwest to Zaporizhzhia, what is believed to be the largest-ever evacuation from Mariupol.