Mariupol mayor calls for no-fly zone after maternity hospital bombing
The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol urged the U.S. and NATO to implement a no-fly zone after Russian forces bombed a children’s hospital in his city on Wednesday.
In a video message uploaded to Telegram and reviewed by CNN, Vadym Boichenko asked “the global community for help.”
“Our will has not been broken, we will fight to the end. We have motivated soldiers and officers who defend our homeland,” Boichenko said. “But today we need support.”
“Close the sky over Ukraine,” the mayor added.
The U.S. and its NATO allies have so far been unwilling to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine, citing fears it could spark a larger confrontation between the alliance and Russia.
A no-fly zone would prohibit Russian aircraft from flying into a region and attacking, but the U.S. said it would require Americans potentially shooting down Russian planes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also pleaded for NATO and the U.S. to close the skies. In an emotional video last week, the president called NATO “weak” for its refusal to implement a no-fly zone.
“Because of your weakness, because of your disunity, all the alliance has managed to do so far is to carry fifty tons of diesel fuel for Ukraine,” he said. “Is this the alliance you were building?”
Zelensky said Russian forces bombed the children’s hospital and other locations in the southern port city Mariupol on Wednesday, resulting in mass damage picked up by satellite imagery.
According to CNN, Russia claims Ukraine was using the hospital for “combat positions.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Ukraine began burying the bodies of civilians and military personnel from Mariupol in mass graves.