The shameless display of hypocrisy came as Russian bombs destroyed a maternity hospital in Mariupol (Picture: AFP)
Vladimir Putin sat down to discuss the rights of children and orphans as his invading forces destroyed a maternity hospital in Ukraine.
The Russian leader met with Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights at the Kremlin.
The shameless display of hypocrisy came as Russian bombs destroyed a maternity hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol.
The attack saw the hospital suffer a ‘direct strike’, according to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and there are fears people are trapped beneath the wreckage.
In the two weeks since Mr Putin launched his campaign of terror on Ukraine, children have been killed, orphaned and two million people have been forced to flee their homes.
But as Russian bombs wiped out residential buildings and schools, Mr Putin met with Ms Lvoa-Belova to discuss legal changes which would reportedly allow Russians to adopt Ukrainian orphans.
The changes will mean children from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, who do not have Russian citizenship, will qualify for adoption.
Ms Lvoa-Belova told the Russian president 1,090 orphans had been evacuated from the two areas to Russia.
As Mr Putin discussed ‘children’s rights’ his troops destroyed a maternity hospital (Picture: AP)
Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol (Picture: AP)
During the stage meeting, Mr Putin reportedly said: ‘We are facing an emergency.
‘I believe that we must focus on the interests of the children rather than think about red tape.
‘We will amend the laws accordingly. We will ask the State Duma to do its work, and I am certain that its members will support you.’
An estimated one million children have fled Ukraine since Mr Putin ordered his troops to invade, a figure Unicef has called ‘a dark historical first.’
There have been cases of children having to make the journey from Ukraine to safety alone.
Two million people, half of whom are estimated to be children have fled Ukraine in the past two weeks (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Mariupol, where the strike on a maternity hospital took place on Wednesday, is also where reports of a six-year-old girl dying alone of dehydration in the ruins of her home have emerged.
The city has been subjected to heavy bombardment by Russian shells and is surrounded by Mr Putin’s troops.
The Red Cross has described the situation in the city as ‘apocalyptic’ amid a shortage of food, water and electricity.
Days of shelling have largely cut residents off from the outside world and forced them to scavenge for food and water.
At least three attempts to evacuate some 200,000 people from the city have failed after Russian forces broke ceasefires.
Russia-Ukraine war: Everything you need to know
Over two million Ukrainian refugees have fled, as cities face shortages of food, water, heat, and medicine – with some having to resort to melting snow for water.
Countries have retaliated by imposing sanctions on Russia, while large companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola have suspended business in the country.
However, despite these economic blows, Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t shown any signs of calling off the attack anytime soon.
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