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WorldRussian strikes hits children's hospital in Ukraine; dozens dead


Russian strikes hits children’s hospital in Ukraine; dozens dead


In a tragic escalation, Ukrainian capital Kyiv witnessed severe damage to a prominent children’s hospital from Russian airstrikes, resulting in at least 31 fatalities across the country during an early morning barrage.

The airstrikes, unusually occurring in daylight, claimed the lives of at least 17 individuals in Kyiv alone. Among the casualties were two individuals at the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital, the largest pediatric facility in Ukraine, which suffered extensive damage from the explosion.

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In central Ukraine’s Kryvyi Rih, the head of the military administration reported a death toll of at least 10, while three more lost their lives in the eastern town of Pokrovsk and one in Dnipro.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, currently in Poland where he has signed a security pact, expressed a firm commitment to respond to the attacks.

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“Different cities: Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk. More than 40 missiles of various types. Residential buildings, infrastructure and a children’s hospital were damaged,” Mr Zelensky wrote earlier on social media.

Lesia Lysytsia, a doctor at the children’s hospital, told the BBC the moment the missile struck was “like in a film” with a “big light, then an awful sound”.

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This image shows the extent of the damage to the children’s hospital

“One part of the hospital was destroyed and there was a fire in another. It’s really very damaged – maybe 60-70% of the hospital,” she said.

Pictures from the scene showed young children – some with IV drips – sitting outside the hospital as it was evacuated.
Dr Lysytsia said Ohmatdyt is a big hospital which carries out many functions, including cancer treatment and organ transplants.

“Now we are in the process of evacuating patients to the nearest hospital.. [but] many patients are intubated and on ventilators and cannot have contact with other patients or go outside,” she said.

Hospital staff informed Ukrainian television that approximately 20 children were receiving treatment in the ward that was struck.

Following the initial attack, another explosion shook the nearby vicinity, prompting hundreds of individuals to seek refuge in an underground passageway.

President Zelensky posted on social media, expressing concern that individuals were trapped beneath the debris of the hospital.

Vitaliy Klitschko, Kyiv’s mayor, told the Reuters news agency from the hospital that the bombardment was “one of the the worst attacks” on the capital since the start of the war.

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported via social media that a maternity unit in Kyiv suffered partial destruction from falling debris, resulting in the deaths of four individuals and injuries to three others.

Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina, as announced by the Women’s Tennis Association, will wear a black ribbon during her Wimbledon round of 16 match on Monday afternoon to honor the victims.

In another part of the country, Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of Kryvy Rih’s military administration, stated on Telegram that an attack on the city had claimed the lives of at least 10 people and left 31 others wounded, with 10 in critical condition.

Kryvy Rih, President Zelensky’s hometown, has faced repeated assaults from Russia since the full-scale invasion began in February 2022.

Sergiy Lysak, head of the Dnipro region, reported one fatality and six injuries in Dnipro city, noting that a high-rise building and a business were among the targets hit.

In Pokrovsk, located in the eastern Donetsk region, three individuals lost their lives. Russian forces have recently seized control of several villages in this area.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow for a two-day state visit, scheduled to meet President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Monday for talks.

This visit coincided with Russian airstrikes that Ukraine alleges targeted civilian infrastructure, though Russia claims they aimed at military sites.

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