Russian missile hits children’s cancer hospital in Kyiv

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At least 33 people were killed and more than 140 injured after Russian missiles on Monday struck cities across Ukraine including Kyiv, where the country’s main children’s cancer hospital was hit.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said two adults had been confirmed killed by the direct hit on the Okhmatdyt hospital. Hundreds of rescue workers and volunteers are still working to rescue patients and staff believed to be trapped beneath the rubble of a destroyed department.

Rescue operations were also under way at two Kyiv apartment buildings and a medical clinic in the east of the city. The capital was the main target of Monday’s attacks, with 22 killed and 82 injured.

Ukraine’s air force said Russia had fired hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, one of the most advanced weapons in the Kremlin’s arsenal and among the most difficult for air defence systems to intercept.

Monday’s barrage comes as Nato leaders, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, prepare to gather for a summit in Washington this week, at which strengthening the alliance’s position towards Russia and bolstering Ukraine’s defences are expected to top the agenda.

“Russia cannot help but know where its missiles are flying, and must fully answer for all its crimes: against people, against children, against humanity in general,” said Zelenskyy, who arrived in Warsaw on Monday morning.

The UN Security Council said it had convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the attack. UN secretary-general António Guterres “strongly condemned” Monday’s strikes, his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said.

Russian missiles also caused multiple casualties in Ukraine’s southern cities of Dnipro, where one person was reported killed, Kropyvnytskyi and the industrial city of Kryviy Rih,

Metinvest, Ukraine’s biggest mining company, said 10 employees were killed and 30 injured in a strike on an administrative building at a coal processing plant in Kryvyi Rih.

At least three people were killed in the eastern city of Pokrovsk, local authorities reported.

Alla, a nurse at the Kyiv children’s hospital who declined to give her surname, said the toxicology ward had been destroyed.

“Something hit nearby and then it hit us. After that it was chaos and I don’t remember everything,” said Alla, who works in the main building.

Women hold children patients
Young patients outside the hospital after the missile attack © Gleb Garanich/Reuters

The blast ripped off the facade of the main hospital building and its windows. Glass and debris were still falling from the hospital structures more than two hours after the attack.

An image posted by Ukraine’s presidential office showed a child with a head injury. Hospital staff in dusty scrubs stood around in shock, while some were being treated for injuries.

Russia’s defence ministry released a statement implying that a Ukrainian air defence missile caused the strike on the children’s hospital.

The ministry also said it had hit a number of defence manufacturing sites and air bases in response to Ukraine’s attacks on Russian energy and industrial infrastructure.

Ukraine’s accusations that Russia had deliberately targeted civilian facilities were “absolutely not accurate”, it said. It claimed that footage of the strike on Kyiv “unambiguously confirmed” that a Ukrainian missile had caused the destruction, without mentioning the children’s hospital.

But videos of the attack posted to X appeared to show a missile directly striking the hospital.

In total, seven Kyiv districts suffered either damage from debris or direct hits in Monday’s strikes, according to Klitschko’s office. Ukraine’s air defence chiefs said 38 missiles were used in the attacks, 30 of which were intercepted.

Zelenskyy said the hospital was “one of the most important children’s hospitals not only in Ukraine but also in Europe”.

Map showing location of missile strike on children's hospital in Kiev

The president called for further western support to bolster Ukraine’s defences and for Kyiv’s allies to hold Moscow to account for its attacks.

“It is very important that the world does not remain silent about this now, and that everyone sees what Russia is and what it is doing,” he said from Warsaw, where he was due to meet Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The two leaders are expected to sign a security pact.

Nato leaders are expected to make a one-year, €40bn pledge of support for Ukraine this week as political upheaval among the alliance’s larger members limits their capacity to commit more long-term resources.

Additional reporting by Raphael Minder in Warsaw

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