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

July 8, 2024  -BBC News -A children’s hospital in Kyiv has been hit after Russia launched a wave of missile strikes against cities across Ukraine.

Two people died when the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital – Ukraine’s biggest paediatrics facility – sustained major damage during the blast.

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

Russia denied targeting the hospital, saying it had been hit by fragments of a Ukrainian air defence missile, while Ukraine said it had found remnants of a Russian cruise missile.

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

“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.

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

Reuters Patients with intravenous drips outside the hospitalReuters
Ohmatdyt is a major hospital which carries out 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,” Dr Lysytsia said.

Hospital officials told Ukrainian TV that about 20 children were being treated in the ward which was hit.

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

Mayor Klitschko accused Russia of attempting the “genocide of [the] population in Ukraine”.

“Right now the whole world can see how Russian missiles and Kamikaze drones killed Ukrainian citizens in our peaceful city.”

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

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