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Maria Sharapova donates to ‘Save the Children’ as Russia targets Ukraine maternity hospital

Los Angeles: Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova on Wednesday announced that she is making a donation to Save the Children’s crisis relief fund as she is deeply saddened by the images and stories of families and children affected the escalating “crisis in Ukraine”.

The five-time grand slam winner has received backlash for speaking up against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine where more than one million people have been displaced and thousands others have been killed.

Maria’s statement came amid reports that A Russian air strike on Wednesday hit a paediatric and maternity hospital in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, injuring at least 17 staff, officials said.

She, however, avoided naming Russia or its leader in any of her social media posts since Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine.

The Russian is engaged to British millionaire Alexander Gilkes who happens to be a friend of Prince William and Prince Harry.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video on Twitter showing massive destruction at the large medical complex, including blown-out windows and internal walls ripped out, which he said was caused by a “direct strike by Russian troops”.

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