MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russia’s warplanes were not used near Mariupol, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.
"Russian warplanes had absolutely no target-hitting tasks on the ground near Mariupol," he said, adding that the alleged airstrike at hospital No 3 in Mariupol "was a totally staged provocation meant to maintain the anti-Russian sentiment among people in the West."
"We have repeatedly said that medical establishments in Mariupol, including hospital No 3, stopped routine operation back in late February. The personnel and patients were driven away by nationalists," he stressed.
According to the spokesman, due to its advantageous location near the center of the city, the hospital was reorganized as an outpost of the Azov nationalist battalion. In his words, people who fled the city, both to Kiev and to the Donetsk People’s Republic, say this, he added.
He noted that judging by photos of the hospital’s territory, there were two deliberate blasts: an underground one and a low-yield explosion targeting the building. "The picture of the damaged building may be misleading for the unprofessional audience in Europe and the United States, who were the target of this fake. Nor for experts. An aviation bomb would have left nothing of the building’s outer walls," he noted.