Russian forces holding Ukraine hospital staff, patients hostage, Mariupol deputy mayor confirms

Mariupol deputy mayor confirms hospital staff taken as hostages

Mariupol Deputy Mayor Sherhiy Orlov confirms reports that Russian forces have occupied an intensive care hospital, holding staff and patients hostage.

The deputy mayor of war-torn Mariupol, Ukraine, confirmed on "Varney & Co." Wednesday that Russian forces have occupied an intensive care hospital and are holding staff and patients hostage.

"We can confirm this information today," Sherhiy Orlov told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. "They take the hospital and all its patients and doctors use like hostages, and we receive information that they transferred the injured soldiers of Russian army and push Ukrainian doctors to cure them."

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Orlov’s comments come after Ukrainian residents reportedly contacted a human rights organization about the occupation of Russian troops at the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital.

While Russian forces were apparently firing at the windows of the hospital in an effort to trigger a response from Ukrainian soldiers, according to the Media Initiative for Human Rights. 

Orlov also said troops won’t let anyone leave the hospital, "during [the] night, morning."

Service members of pro-Russian troops in uniforms without insignia are seen atop of a tank during Ukraine-Russia conflict. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko (Reuters Photos)

Russian troops have threatened to shoot at those trying to escape, the human rights organization said.

According to officials’ last estimate, Orlov said 90% of Mariupol’s buildings have sustained damage, with 40% of those being "totally destroyed."

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"Most of the damage, most of the deaths, most of destroyment is after the airstrikes," Orlov said.

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Without a no-fly zone, Orlov noted that he’s not sure how much longer Ukraine can defend itself. But he is certain of one thing: "I am absolutely sure that our army will continue to defend our city and our citizens up to the last bullet."

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Fox News' Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.

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