Ukraine mourns dozens killed in Russian air attack

Olena Harmash and Max Hunder |

Donations have poured in to help rebuild Kyiv’s main children’s hospital as Ukraine mourns at least 41 people killed during a major Russian missile assault on the Ukrainian capital and other cities.

The head of the UN human rights monitoring mission said Monday’s strike on the Okhmatdyt hospital was likely caused by a direct hit from a Russian missile, citing its own analysis.

Moscow said the medical facility was struck by Ukrainian anti-missile fire, without providing evidence.

Rescue operations at the hospital ended early on Tuesday, with two dead and dozens wounded after part of the medical facility was reduced to rubble.

Elsewhere in the capital, a woman’s body was recovered from the ruins of a residential building where 12 people were killed, Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“All patients from Okhmatdyt were moved to other medical facilities,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is travelling to Washington to attend a NATO summit where Kyiv hopes to receive more air defence supplies from its allies.

“We continue our work to increase the defence of our cities and communities against Russian terror.

“There will be decisions. The world has the required force for that.”

Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians since launching a full-scale invasion of its neighbour in February 2022.

Zelenskiy said nearly 400 people were involved in the rescue effort.

He put the death toll at 38 with 190 wounded, although tallies of casualties from impact sites in different regions brought the total to at least 41.

Big Ukrainian businesses have rushed to announce donations to rebuild the children’s hospital, which is one of the largest in Europe and provided treatment for various diseases including cancer.

Ukraine is observing a national day of mourning and flew its flags at half-mast in the capital and other cities.

A rescuer tends to a youth outside Okhmatdyt children's hospital
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy put the death toll at 38 with 190 wounded. (AP PHOTO)

Okhmatdyt’s general director, Volodymyr Zhovnir, told reporters at the site that one of their young doctors had died and the building for dialysis had been destroyed.

They no longer had an electricity supply, he said.

“At least four buildings of the hospital were partially destroyed,” he said.

There was no available figure for the total amount of donations, but Reuters calculations based on statements and Ukrainian media reports put the figure from Ukraine’s corporate section about 300 million hryvnia ($A11 million).

Oleh Horokhovskyi, founder of Ukrainian lender Monobank, said they had gathered 100 million hryvnias from various businesses within just three hours.

An online video obtained by Reuters showed a missile falling towards the children’s hospital followed by a large explosion.

The location of the video was verified from visible landmarks.

The Security Service of Ukraine says it was a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile and evidence of this was recovered at the site – in particular, fragments of the rear part of the missile with a serial number, and a part of the guidance system.

Emergency workers at the site of Okhmatdyt children's hospital
A Russian Kh-101 cruise missile hit the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital, Ukraine says. (AP PHOTO)

Dozens of people rushed to the hospital to provide any help they could on Monday.

Some parked their cars on the side of a major motorway several hundred metres away, asking bystanders what help was still needed.

One woman said she was a doctor and asked to be let in to help.

Ashton Tsander, 16, who rushed with her friend from their nearby workplace at an animal shelter, said they had come to see how they could help.

“I can see this community spirit among the people here, and it gives me some hope,” she said.

Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile operator, said it would donate 10 million hryvnias to aid the hospital’s reconstruction.

Pledging to make a donation, Volodymyr Mnoholetnyi, founder of IT company Genesis, wrote on Facebook how the hospital had treated his prematurely born son who is five years old.

“We will transfer one million hryvnias from Genesis and another one million from me personally to cover the urgent needs of the hospital,” he wrote.