Ukrainian officials claim Russia 'dropped several bombs' on children's hospital in Mariupol

A children's hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol was destroyed by airstrikes, according to an online post from the city council, Reuters reports.

"The Russian occupying forces have dropped several bombs on the children's hospital. The destruction is colossal," the post read, adding that the amount of casualties were unknown.

Reuters has not verified the report, and points out that Russia has denied targeting civilians in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared footage on Twitter that he said showed the destruction of the hospital.

Since President Vladimir Putin's army invaded on February 24, Russia has pummelled Ukrainian cities, killed hundreds of civilians and assaulted Europe's largest atomic power plant.

The invasion has drawn condemnation and severe sanctions from Western nations balancing punishment of the Kremlin with fears of a hazardous escalation.

Moscow has seized two key cities in its 10-day-long invasion, Berdiansk and Kherson on Ukraine's southern Black Sea coast.

But capturing Mariupol, a city of about 450,000 people on the Azov Sea, would represent a bigger prize for Russian forces as it would deal a severe blow to Ukraine's maritime access and connect troops coming from annexed Crimea and the Donbas.

With additional reporting by AFP