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Children’s hospital hit as Russian airstrikes kill dozens in Ukraine

Via Rob Corp and Kyla Herrmannsen, BBC News, in London and Kyiv

Video posted by President Zelensky shows severe damage at Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital

A children’s hospital in Kyiv has been attacked after Russia launched a series of missile strikes on cities across Ukraine.

Two people died when the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital – Ukraine’s largest paediatric facility – was severely damaged in the blast.

Thirty-six people were killed and 140 injured in the airstrikes, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak said on Monday.

Lesia Lysytsia, a doctor at the hospital, told the BBC the moment the missile struck was “like in the movies” with “a big flash of light, then a terrible sound”.

“Part of the hospital was destroyed and another part was burned. The hospital was very badly damaged – maybe 60-70%,” she said.

Images from the scene showed young children – some receiving intravenous fluids – sitting outside the hospital as people were evacuated.

Vitaliy Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said two of the people who died at the hospital were adults – one of them a doctor. He added that rescuers feared many more people were trapped under the rubble.

Russia denied targeting the hospital, saying it was hit by debris from a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile. But Ukraine said it had found the remains of a Russian cruise missile.

Reuters Patient receives intravenous fluids outside hospitalReuters

The patient must be taken to a safe place with the intravenous line still attached.

Ohmatdyt is a large hospital that performs cancer treatment and organ transplants.

“We are currently in the process of evacuating the patient to the nearest hospital. [but] “Many patients have to be intubated and put on ventilators and cannot interact with other patients or go outside,” said Dr. Lysytsia.

Hospital officials told Ukrainian television that about 20 children were being treated in the attacked ward.

Following the strike, Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina wore a black ribbon as a mark of respect as she played in the last 16 at Wimbledon on Monday afternoon.

Mayor Klitschko accuses Russia of attempting ‘genocide’ [the] population in Ukraine”.

“Right now, the whole world can see Russian Kamikaze missiles and drones killing Ukrainian people in our peaceful city.

The mayor added that a separate maternity hospital in Kyiv’s Dniprovsky district was also partially destroyed by falling debris, killing seven people.

Reuters Ukraine's Elina Svitolina wears a black ribbon while playing tennis at Wimbledon on MondayReuters

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina wore a black ribbon while playing the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London as a mark of respect

Mr Zelensky wrote on social media that “more than 40 missiles of various types” had hit buildings and infrastructure in cities including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

He called on the West to react more strongly “to the blow that Russia has once again inflicted on our people, on our country, on our children”.

One person was killed and six others were injured in Dnipro city, said Dnipro region head Sergiy Lysak. He added that a high-rise building and a business were hit.

Three people were killed in Pokrovsk, in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian forces have taken control of several villages in recent weeks.

The Russian bombing came as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a two-day state visit to Moscow, where he was expected to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko condemns Russia’s ‘genocide’

Russia, which denies targeting civilian infrastructure, said the damage at the children’s hospital was caused by Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles.

However, the Security Service of Ukraine has released photos of what it says are fragments of a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile recovered at the site.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov responded to the attacks by calling on his country’s allies to quickly boost their air defense capabilities.

“Our defense capabilities are still not enough… We need more air defense systems,” he said.

Ukraine’s allies have condemned the attack on Ohmatdyt hospital, with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell accusing Russia of “cruelly targeting Ukrainian civilians”.

New British Foreign Secretary David Lammy said “we must hold those responsible for Putin’s illegal war to account”.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he strongly condemned the air strikes, adding that he found the attack on the children’s hospital and another medical facility “particularly shocking”.

“Direct attacks on civilians and civilian targets are prohibited under international humanitarian law and any such attacks are unacceptable and must cease immediately,” he said.

The UN human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine says civilian casualties have increased in recent months as Russia continues its air campaign. A recent report said May was the month with the highest number of civilian deaths in nearly a year.


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