The Russian military shelled a mosque in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Ukraine’s foreign minister said Saturday. Dozens of civilians had taken refuge there before the attack began, the AP reports.
“The mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roksolana (Hürrem Sultan) in Mariupol was attacked by Russian invaders,” Ukraine’s Embassy in Turkey tweeted. “More than 80 adults and children, including Turkish citizens, are hiding from the shelling.”
Mariupol has endured significant damage from Russian forces in recent days. The mayor’s office on Friday said that more than 1,500 residents have died.
AP reporting on the ground in Mariupol has painted a gruesome picture of a city suffering without reprieve, describing its citizens as having “endured some of Ukraine’s worst misery since Russia invaded, with unceasing barrages thwarting repeated attempts to bring in food, water and medicine, evacuate trapped civilians and even bury the dead.”
In addition to the Mosque, the AP has reported that hospital workers and apartment buildings have come under fire:
An Associated Press journalist in Mariupol witnessed tanks firing on a nine-story apartment building and was with a group of hospital workers who came under sniper fire on Friday. A worker shot in the hip survived, but conditions in the hospital were deteriorating: electricity was reserved for operating tables, and people with nowhere else to go lined the hallways.
One worker described the experience to an AP reporter:
“We came to my brother’s (place), all of us together. The women and children went underground, and then some mortar struck that building,” she said. “We were trapped underground, and two children died. No one was able to save them.”