world News : Children's hospital in Kyiv hit by missiles as Russia unleashes barrage across Ukraine

world News : Children's hospital in Kyiv hit by missiles as Russia unleashes barrage across Ukraine
world News : Children's hospital in Kyiv hit by missiles as Russia unleashes barrage across Ukraine

Monday 8 July 2024 10:50 PM

newsonline - A children's hospital in Kyiv has been hit by missiles as Russia unleashed a deadly barrage across Ukraine.

The attack is the biggest bombardment of the Ukrainian capital for several months, officials said.

It was part of a wider strike across Ukraine that has left at least 31 dead and around 130 others injured, according to the interior ministry.

Follow latest: Russia launches daylight hypersonic attack on Ukraine

Image: Rescuers work at Okhmatdyt children's hospital. Pic: Reuters
Kyiv, Dnipro, Pokrovsk and Kryvyi Rih are among the cities targeted in the Russia attack
Image: Kyiv, Dnipro, Pokrovsk and Kryvyi Rih are among the cities targeted in the Russian attack

Kyiv targeted

In Kyiv, at least nine people have been killed, and 33 others injured in the initial attack which struck the Okhmatdyt children's hospital - Ukraine's biggest children's medical facility.

Images appear to show young cancer patients who have been evacuated from the hospital with their parents.

The hospital suffered severe damage from the attack and some parents were in tears as they left the hospital, holding their children.

"We heard an explosion, then we were showered with debris," said Svitlaka Kravchenko.

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Her two-month-old baby was unharmed, but she had suffered cuts, and her car was buried under the rubble of the destroyed building.

"It was scary. I couldn't breathe, I was trying to cover [my baby]. I was trying to cover him with this cloth so that he could breathe," she said.

Mothers hold their children outside the Okhmatdyt hospital. Pic: Reuters
Image: Mothers hold their children outside the Okhmatdyt hospital. Pic: Reuters

Analysis: It's no coincidence this attack comes before the NATO summit

Deborah Hayes
Deborah Haynes

Security and Defence Editor@haynesdeborah

Military insiders had been expecting Vladimir Putin to launch some kind of new attack against Ukraine ahead of the NATO summit in Washington this week to dominate the agenda.

Monday's barrage of missile strikes will feed the fears of some lawmakers within allied countries that Kyiv cannot win and should be pressured into accepting some kind of peace agreement given that Russia is showing no sign of retreat.

At the same time, the devastating bombardment – which hit the main Ukrainian children's hospital where some of the most poorly boys and girls are being treated – will also amplify Ukraine's demands for more air defence weapons to defend its skies and more lethal weapons to take the fight to Russia by striking more targets inside the Russian mainland.

As well as the attack on Ukraine, there have also been fears that Moscow could attempt a covert, deniable assault against a NATO member state ahead of the Washington summit - such as a cyber attack against critical infrastructure – again to demonstrate its willingness to violate global rules and norms and also to test NATO's responses.

The mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Vitali Klitschko, told Sky News he couldn't give an exact figure for the number of children who were killed or injured in the strike on the hospital because "a lot of people are under the rubble".

Rescuers are working at the scene, searching for survivors under a partially collapsed wing of the facility.

Mr Klitschko also said Mr Putin was not carrying out a war against Ukraine and that instead Moscow's actions amount to a "genocide of the Ukrainian population".

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said earlier there were people "under the rubble" of the partially destroyed hospital.

The United Nations Security Council will meet on Tuesday - at the request of Britain, France, Ecuador, Slovenia and the United States - over the attack on the children's medical facility, diplomats said.

"We will call out Russia's cowardly and depraved attack on the hospital," Britain's UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward said in an X post on Monday.

Debris from a later, separate, Russian rocket attack, also on Kyiv, killed a further four people and injured others as it damaged another medical centre, the city's authorities said.

The Kyiv military administration said a multi-storey centre was struck in the city's eastern Dnipro district.

The Okhmatdyt children's hospital after the attack. Pic: Reuters
Image: The Okhmatdyt children's hospital after the attack. Pic: Reuters
A woman carries her child near the Okhmatdyt children's hospital. Pic: Reuters
Image: A woman carries her child near the Okhmatdyt children's hospital. Pic: Reuters

Hypersonic attack

The daylight attacks included Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, one of the most advanced Russian weapons, the Ukrainian air force said.

The Kinzhal flies at 10 times the speed of sound, making it hard to intercept.

Of the 38 Russian missiles launched, the Ukrainian air force said it had downed 30 of them and Mr Zelenskyy vowed to retaliate.

City buildings shook from the blasts and Mr Zelenskyy said Russia had targeted five cities in total, with more than 40 missiles of different types.

Rescuers work at a site of a building damaged during a Russian missile strikes, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 8, 2024. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Image: Rescuers work at the hospital damaged during Russian missile strikes across Ukraine. Pic: Reuters

In a post on social media, Mr Zelenskyy's chief of staff Andriy Yermak accused Russia of "deliberately targeting" children.

Three of Kyiv's electricity substations and electricity grids were also damaged, Ukraine's largest private energy producer DTEK has said.

This is in line with the Kremlin's wider tactic of targeting Ukraine's infrastructure to bring the country to its knees.

At least 10 people have been killed and 37 injured in the city of Kryvyi Rih, in the Dnipro region.

Serhii Lysak, governor of the region, said one person had died and six others were also injured in Dnipro city after it was struck in Russia's major attack.

One of the injured people was in a "serious condition", he added.

Vadym Filashkin, governor of the eastern Donetsk region, said at least three people had been killed in the city of Pokrovsk.

Mr Zelenskyy has said that he expects the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday to provide specific steps to strengthen his country's air defences against Russia following the strikes.

The Ukrainian president met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw to discuss further support for Ukraine from NATO, as well as signing a bilateral cooperation and defence document.

He said: "I can see a possibility for our partners to use their air defence systems in a way to hit .. the missiles that are carrying out attacks on our country."

Leaders at the NATO summit are expected to discuss ways of providing reliable long-term security aid and military training for Ukraine more than two years after Russia's full-scale invasion.

Rescuers work at Ohmatdyt Children's Hospital that was damaged during a Russian missile strikes, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 8, 2024. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Image: Rescuers work at Okhmatdyt children's hospital. Pic: Reuters

It comes as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the barrage of Russian strikes on Monday, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

Mr Guterres found the attack on the children's hospital and another medical facility "particularly shocking", Mr Dujarric said.

He added: "Directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects is prohibited by international humanitarian law, and any such attacks are unacceptable and must end immediately."

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said he has discussed Monday's attacks with International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan.

"We are sending all information and evidence about attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities to the ICC prosecutor's office," he told national television in Ukraine.

'Don't trust or believe Putin', says Poroshenko

Meanwhile, the former president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, said the latest attack on Kyiv was "disastrous" and it showed how Mr Putin could not be trusted.

He told Sky News: "This is just a demonstration of how ready Putin is for the ceasefire for the peace.

"This is my appeal - don't trust Putin. Don't believe Putin.

Ahead of the NATO summit, Mr Poroshenko added: "If you want to stop the war, it would be true membership (of NATO).

"One single word we are waiting (for) - this word is 'invitation'.

"This is definitely in the interests of all member states in NATO."

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In the aftermath of the attacks, the Russian Defence Ministry claimed its forces had carried out strikes on defence industry targets and aviation bases.

They denied they had targeted civilians, and alleged Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles, launched to repel the attack, had caused the damage instead.

They also noted the timing of the incident ahead of the NATO summit.

Also on Monday morning, one civilian was said to have been killed in Russia's Belgorod region due to Ukrainian shelling, according to the local governor.

Three others were also injured and taken to hospital, governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

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