Attacks on Ukraine kill 29, children’s hospital hit

Olena Harmash and Max Hunder |

Kyiv’s main children’s hospital was hit by a rocket during the worst attack on the capital in months
Kyiv’s main children’s hospital was hit by a rocket during the worst attack on the capital in months

Russia has rained missiles down on cities across Ukraine in broad daylight, killing at least 29 civilians and badly damaging Kyiv’s main children’s hospital in the deadliest air strike in months, officials say.

Hundreds of people rushed to clear debris at the hospital, where windows had been smashed and panels ripped off. 

Parents holding babies walked in the street outside, dazed and sobbing after the rare daylight aerial attack.

A child near the children's hospital
The children’s hospital was badly damaged in Russia’s rare daylight missile attack on Kyiv. (AP PHOTO)

“It was scary. I couldn’t breathe, I was trying to cover (my baby). I was trying to cover him with this cloth so that he could breathe,” Svitlana Kravchenko, 33, told Reuters.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia fired more than 40 missiles, damaging residential and commercial buildings and infrastructure in Kyiv, his home city of Kryvyi Rih, the central city of Dnipro and two eastern cities.

Ten people were killed and 35 wounded in the main wave of attacks on Kyiv on Monday morning, authorities said. 

Some two hours later, debris from another missile attack hit a different hospital in Kyiv, killing four more and injuring three more, the emergency services said.

Eleven were confirmed dead in Kryvyi Rih and more than 40 wounded, the emergency services added. 

Three people had been killed in the eastern town of Pokrovsk where missiles hit an industrial facility, the regional governor said. 

One person was also killed in the city of Dnipro.

Emergency services at the Okhmatdyt children's hospital
Kyiv’s mayor said the latest attack on the capital was one of the largest of the war. (AP PHOTO)

“The whole world must act as decisively as it can to put an end to Russian air strikes. Murder – this is what Putin brings. Only together we can achieve true peace and security,” Zelenskiy wrote on Telegram.

The Russian Defence Ministry said its forces had carried out strikes on defence industry targets and aviation bases in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, although its attacks have killed thousands of civilians since it launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The attack came a day before leaders of NATO countries were due to begin a three-day summit of the military alliance that Zelenskiy is expected to attend with the war in Ukraine one of the focuses.

“This callous aggression – a total disregard for human life, jeopardising European & Transatlantic security – is why leaders will make significant security commitments to Ukraine this week,” the US ambassador to Kyiv, Bridget Brink, posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Defence Minister Rustem Umerov said Ukraine still lacked enough air defences and urged Kyiv’s allies to supply more systems promptly to help protect its cities and infrastructure from regular Russian aerial attacks.

The power grid has already sustained so much damage from targeted Russian air strikes that began in March that electricity cuts have become widespread and the whirring sound of backup power generators in the streets has become ubiquitous.

DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power producer, said three electricity substations and electricity networks had been damaged in the capital.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the attack on the capital was one of the largest of the war.

“We heard an explosion, then we were showered with debris,” Svitlana told Reuters after she and her husband Viktor, emerged from a shelter at the hospital with their two-month-old baby.

The baby was unharmed, but Svitlana had suffered cuts, and their car was buried under the rubble of the destroyed building across the courtyard from the main ward.

With AP