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Children’s hospital hit as Russian missiles kill dozens in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities

kyiv, Ukraine — Russian missiles pounded a prominent children’s hospital in kyiv and across the capital and central and eastern Ukraine on Monday, killing dozens of people and wounding more than 170, officials said.

Thick columns of smoke rose from several districts of kyiv, and Ukraine’s health ministry shared video showing charred exteriors and blown-out windows at the capital’s Okhmatdyt children’s hospital and one of its complexes that had been reduced to rubble.

About 37 people were killed and more than 170 injured, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. The dead included three children, he said.

“Russian terrorists must answer for this. Mere concern is not enough to stop terrorism,” Zelensky said.

Videos and photos taken by Ukrainian officials show medical workers and patients in bloody clothes walking around the hospital grounds, apparently dazed. Videos taken inside the hospital show broken windows on patients’ beds and blood splattered on the floor.

Other images from the scene showed a crowd of people, both medical workers and civilians, helping rescuers clear debris from one of the hospital buildings, much of which was still ablaze.

Kiev city authorities said two adults were killed in the attack on the Okhmatdyt hospital. Twenty others were killed and 82 wounded in the strikes on the city. The city administration said two children were among the dead, though it was unclear whether they died at the children’s hospital. There are fears that more people are trapped under the rubble.

An injured child is carried to safety after a missile strike on Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in kyiv on Monday.National Emergency Service of Ukraine / Anadolu via Getty Images

In a message posted on X, President Zelensky said that the children’s hospital is one of the most important medical institutions in Europe. “Okhmatdyt has saved and restored the health of thousands of children,” he said.

Seven of the injured were children who were hospitalized, according to a message from Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Telegram, who added that one of the adults killed was a doctor. Klitschko declared Tuesday a day of mourning in memory of the victims.

It was not immediately clear whether the hospital was directly hit or whether fragments of intercepted missiles fell on it.

People were killed and injured in “practically all districts of the capital,” Zelensky’s office chief Andrii Yermak said in another Telegram message. “This was an attack on civilians when there were a lot of people on the streets,” he added.

Elsewhere, authorities said at least 10 people deceased in the city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine.

Doctors outside the destroyed Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital.Roman Pilipey / AFP – Getty Images
Emergency personnel surrounded Ohmatdyt children’s hospital in kyiv on Monday.Roman Pilipey / AFP – Getty Images

The Ukrainian Air Force said Russian forces launched several ballistic and cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets, while explosions were felt and heard across the capital. It was the largest and most widespread attack on kyiv in months.

The attack was carried out in daylight using Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, one of Russia’s most advanced weapons, the Air Force said. The Kinzhal flies at ten times the speed of sound, making it difficult to intercept. Buildings in the city shook from the explosions.

According to the National Emergency Service of Ukraine, another medical facility was also damaged in kyiv’s Dniprovsky district, killing four people. The service said that rocket debris had fallen earlier in the day in the district.

Rescuers recover an injured woman from the rubble of a residential building after a Russian airstrike in kyiv.Anatolii Stepanov / AFP – Getty Images

Explosions were also reported in other cities in Ukraine, including Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, Zelensky said. “More than 40 missiles of different types were used,” he said in a message on Telegram.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Monday that it had launched strikes “with long-range precision weapons” on Ukrainian military installations and air bases.

Despite images showing extensive damage to residential buildings and medical facilities in Ukrainian cities, the ministry denied reports by Ukrainian officials that Russia had deliberately struck civilian targets. It instead blamed the damage in kyiv on “the fall of a Ukrainian air defense missile launched from an anti-aircraft missile system in the city.”

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has claimed that Russia used a Kh-101 missile to directly strike the Okhmatdyt hospital. The agency said its investigators had found fragments of the missile at the scene and called the attack a “war crime.”

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said on Telegram that the attacks showed his country’s air defense capabilities remained inadequate. Zelensky and other senior Ukrainian officials have been calling for more advanced air defense systems from their Western partners for months.

The attacks come on the eve of a three-day NATO summit in Washington, which will discuss how to reassure Ukraine of the alliance’s unwavering support.

US President Joe Biden condemned the missile strikes, calling them a “horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality”.

“It is critical that the world continue to stand with Ukraine at this important moment and that we do not ignore Russian aggression,” Biden said in a statement.

“With our allies, we will announce new measures to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses to protect its cities and civilians from Russian strikes,” he said. “The United States stands with the Ukrainian people.”

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