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Russian missiles claim 36 lives, destroy children’s hospital

Russian missiles claim 36 lives, destroy children’s hospital

Russian missiles claim 36 lives, destroy children’s hospital

Russian missiles claim 36 lives, destroy children’s hospital

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  • Ukrainian officials confirmed that 38 missiles resulted in the deaths of 33 people and injuries to another 137.
  • The attack was described as a ruthless attack on civilians by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • The attack also damaged several residential buildings and an office block.
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On Monday, Russia launched a missile barrage that killed three dozen people and severely damaged a children’s hospital in Kyiv, described as a ruthless attack on civilians. At the Okhmatdyt pediatric hospital, volunteers, including hospital staff and rescue workers, frantically searched through debris for survivors after the rare daytime bombardment, witnessed by AFP journalists at the scene.

President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that Russia launched dozens of missiles toward five towns and cities in the south and east of the country, as well as the capital. Ukrainian officials confirmed that the wave of 38 missiles resulted in the deaths of 33 people and injuries to another 137. Additionally, three more individuals were killed by Russian fire in Pokrovsk in eastern Ukraine.

The Air Force reported that air defense systems had downed 30 projectiles. Zelensky convened an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over the barrage and urged Ukraine’s allies to deliver “a stronger response to the blow that Russia has once again inflicted on our population, our land, and our children.”

The UN condemned the “unconscionable” Russian strikes, while the EU criticized Moscow for “ruthlessly” targeting civilians, and the French foreign ministry labeled the bombardment of a children’s hospital “barbaric.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the attack as “abhorrent.”

Kyiv stated that a Russian cruise missile, with components produced in NATO member countries, struck the children’s hospital and announced a day of mourning in the capital. Russia responded by claiming that Ukrainian air defense systems caused the extensive missile damage in Kyiv.

Moscow stated that its forces had struck their “intended targets,” which it clarified were solely defense industry and military installations.

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Medical staff quickly moved patients and personnel to the facility’s basement after air raid sirens rang out over Kyiv on Monday.

“For some reason, we always thought that Okhmatdyt was protected,” said Nina, a 68-year-old hospital employee.

“We were 100 percent sure that they would not hit here,” she told AFP, as she described the frantic rush as staff moved children with IV drips to the bunker.

Officials in Kyiv reported that the attack had also damaged several residential buildings and an office block, where AFP reporters observed cars on fire and shredded trees in charred courtyards. DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy company, stated that three of its electrical substations had been destroyed or damaged in Kyiv. Russian strikes on electricity infrastructure have already halved Ukrainian generation capacity in recent weeks compared to one year ago.

Russian forces have repeatedly targeted the capital with massive barrages since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and the last major attack on Kyiv with drones and missiles occurred last month. Emergency services reported that 22 people were killed in Kyiv on Monday, including at both medical facilities hit in the attack, and that another 72 had been wounded.

In Zelensky’s hometown of Kryvyi Rig, which has been repeatedly targeted by Russian bombardment, officials reported that the strikes killed at least 10 people and wounded over 41. In Dnipro, a city of around one million people in the same region, the region’s governor said one person was killed and six more were wounded when a high-rise residential building and petrol station were hit.

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In the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian forces have taken a string of villages in recent weeks, the regional governor reported that three people were killed in Pokrovsk — a town that had a pre-war population of around 60,000 people.

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