Parents forced to leave premature babies behind as 103 children are slaughtered by Putin's merciless troops

PARENTS have been forced to leave their tiny premature babies behind at a hospital as it's reported 103 children have been killed by merciless Russian troops.

Thousands of terrified Ukrainians are continuing to flee their homes almost three weeks after Vladimir Putin's bloody invasion began, with Russian forces repeatedly blasting major cities.

Mariupol has been continually shelled – forcing around 20,000 Ukrainians to leave the besieged city, while it's estimated more than 2,300 citizens have been killed in the area.

But amid frantic scenes as families try to escape, a devastating picture from the city's hospital number three shows three premature babies in a bed – left behind by their desperate parents.

Hospitals in Mariupol continue to suffer relentless attacks by Russian forces -with Putin's soldiers reportedly taking hundreds of staff and patients hostage to use as human shields.

It's understood nearby residents were forced out of their homes and into a hospital.

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Sergei Orlov said about 400 people are now being stopped from leaving the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital.

He told the BBC: “We received information that the Russian army captured our biggest hospital… and they’re using our patients and doctors like hostages.

“We can confirm this information and also the governor of Donetsk region has confirmed this information. We received information that there are 400 people there."

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the Donetsk region, said Russian troops were pulling people from nearby buildings and forcing them inside the hospital.

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The Russian soldiers have reportedly threatened to shoot anyone who tries to escape.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said Mariupol was quickly running out of food and residents are struggling for water, heating and medicine.

And Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's deputy prime minister, said there were serious problems trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the desperate city of 430,000 people.

She said a convoy filled with supplies was stuck at nearby Berdyansk.

In a glimmer of hope, around 20,000 people have managed to flee the city by driving along a humanitarian corridor agreed with Russian forces- but hundreds of thousands remain trapped by shelling, many without heating, power or running water.

About 4,000 cars fled northwest to Zaporizhzhia in what is believed to be the biggest evacuation yet from Mariupol, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a senior aide to Zelensky.

It comes as…

  • Russia has slapped a ban on Joe Biden and called for Alaska to become part of its territory again.
  • Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted Ukraine may never join Nato in a key concession that could pave the way to peace.
  • Putin's troops have taken hundreds of hospital staff and patients hostage in the besieged city of Mariupol.
  • Dramatic footage shows the moment a Russian tank was blown to smithereens by Ukrainian forces.
  • Ukraine has an unexpected trick up its sleeve in the battle against Russian forces and it comes in the form of a relatively cheap drone.
  • A nine-year-old girl has lost her arm after Russian forces machine-gunned her family when they tried to flee Kyiv.
  • Oligarchs including Roman Abramovich may never be able to return to Britain, Liz Truss warns.

It comes after a pregnant woman and her unborn baby died after a Russian air strike destroyed a maternity hospital in Mariupol.

A harrowing picture showed the mother being stretchered from the hospital and she later screamed "kill me, kill me" when she found her baby was lost – then died herself.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian prosecutor general said that 103 children have been killed so far in the war, with Russian forces striking more than 400 educational establishments, destroying 59 of them.

Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to pound Ukrainian cities and edge closer to the capital Kyiv in a relentless bombardment that keeps deepening the humanitarian crisis.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko has warned of a "difficult and dangerous moment" for the city as Russian forces step up strikes on residential buildings.

Zelensky said barrages hit four multi-storey buildings in the city and killed dozens.

The strikes on the 20th day of Russia's invasion disrupted the relative calm after an initial advance by Putin's forces was stopped in the early days of the war.

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Explosions around the city caused massive structural damage – with shockwaves from a blast tearing through the entrance of a downtown subway station that residents have been using as a bomb shelter.

Kyiv has now imposed a 35-hour curfew after the intense shelling.

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