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Russian Missile Strikes Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine

In devastating attack on July 8, 2024, Russia launched a series of missile strikes across Ukraine, one of the missiles hitting the Children’s Hospital in Kyiv.

KYIV – In a devastating turn of events, a Russian missile strike targeted a children’s hospital in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The attack, condemned by international organizations and governments worldwide, resulted in significant casualties and widespread damage to the medical facility.

The missile struck the hospital during the early morning hours, causing extensive damage to the building’s infrastructure, including operating rooms, intensive care units, and pediatric wards. Medical staff and patients were caught off guard, with many suffering severe injuries from the blast and subsequent debris.

Parents holding their babies and walked in a daze outside the hospital, overwhelmed with grief after the unexpected daytime attack from the sky. Windows lay shattered, panels torn away, and hundreds of Kyiv’s residents came together to clear the wreckage.

Svitlana Kravchenko, a 33-year-old mother, shared her terror with Reuters: “It was terrifying. I couldn’t breathe, I desperately tried to shield my baby. I tried covering him with this cloth so he could breathe.”

Emergency responders rushed to the scene, working tirelessly to rescue survivors trapped under the rubble and provide immediate medical attention to the wounded. The attack left a trail of devastation, with heartbreaking images of injured children and grieving families emerging from the scene.

The international community swiftly condemned the attack, calling it a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime. Governments and human rights organizations expressed outrage over the targeting of a vulnerable medical institution and the indiscriminate violence inflicted upon innocent civilians, especially children.

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The attack on the children’s hospital in Kyiv serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing conflict’s devastating impact on civilian populations. It highlights the urgent need for a peaceful resolution and the protection of innocent lives caught in the crossfire.

The Ukrainian government vowed to hold Russia accountable for the attack, calling for a thorough investigation and prosecution of those responsible. The incident further fueled international calls for increased support for Ukraine and stricter sanctions against Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared that Ukraine would retaliate and urged Kyiv’s Western allies to issue a strong response to the attack. “We will retaliate against these people, and we will deliver a powerful response to Russia from our side, for sure. The question to our partners is: can they respond?” Zelenskiy said during a joint press conference with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Poland.

Diplomats announced that the United Nations Security Council would convene on Tuesday at the request of Britain, France, Ecuador, Slovenia, and the United States.

The incident has drawn widespread condemnation from humanitarian organizations and international leaders, who have called for an immediate end to the targeting of civilian infrastructure. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented numerous attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine since the conflict began, emphasizing the devastating impact on healthcare access and the well-being of the population.

The attack on the children’s hospital has further fueled calls for accountability and justice for the victims of the conflict. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has already opened an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, and this latest incident will likely be included in their ongoing investigations.

In the aftermath of the attack, efforts are underway to provide psychological support to the survivors and families affected by the trauma. Humanitarian organizations are working tirelessly to provide medical aid, shelter, and other essential services to those displaced and injured by the ongoing conflict.

The attack on the children’s hospital in Kyiv serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of war and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. It is a tragedy that has touched the hearts of people worldwide and underscores the importance of protecting the most vulnerable members of society, especially children, during times of conflict.

Security Commitments

The attack occurred just a day before leaders of NATO countries were set to begin a three-day summit, which Zelenskiy is expected to attend, with the war in Ukraine being a key focus.

“This callous aggression—a total disregard for human life, jeopardizing European & Transatlantic security—is why leaders will make significant security commitments to Ukraine this week,” stated US ambassador to Kyiv, Bridget Brink, on X.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov highlighted that Ukraine still lacks sufficient air defenses and urged Kyiv’s allies to promptly supply more systems to help protect its cities and infrastructure from regular Russian aerial attacks.

Air Force representative Colonel Yuri Ignat mentioned that repelling Russian attacks has become more difficult as Moscow’s forces continue to enhance their bombardment tactics. “Enemy missiles are equipped with additional means, including radar and thermal traps,” Ignat wrote on Facebook. He also noted that the missiles flew at extremely low altitudes during Monday’s attacks.

DTEK, the largest private power producer, reported that three electricity substations and networks had been damaged in Kyiv. The power system has already sustained significant damage from targeted Russian air strikes that began in March, leading to widespread electricity cuts.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko described the attack as one of the largest of the war, with damage recorded in seven districts across the city.

The Health Minister reported that five units of the country’s largest and best-equipped children’s hospital were damaged, necessitating the evacuation of children to other facilities. — Reuters

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