Missile Strike Hits Ukraine’s Largest Children’s Hospital, U.N. Confirms

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On July 9, the United Nations reported that a devastating explosion at Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine, which resulted in the deaths of two individuals and injuries to over 50 others, including seven children, was likely caused by a missile strike. Danielle Bell, the head of the U.N.’s human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, provided a briefing via video link suggesting that analysis of the incident and video footage indicated the children’s hospital was directly hit.

Describing the event as one of the most horrific attacks since the intensification of the conflict, Bell called for a comprehensive and independent investigation into the incident, echoing appeals by U.N. Human Rights Chief Volker Turk.

At the time of the attack, approximately 1,000 staff members were caring for roughly 670 child patients, many of whom suffered from critical conditions like cancer and kidney disease. Thanks to the prompt action of the staff, moving children to a bunker following air raid alarms, the number of casualties was reduced significantly.

Further investigations by Bell’s team suggested that the missile could have been fired by Russian forces, although definitive verification was not provided. In response to these findings, Ukrainian officials reported the discovery of Russian cruise missile engine fragments at the site. Despite this, Russian officials, including foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, claimed the damage was caused by a Ukrainian missile.

The aftermath saw additional condemnation from the U.N. and the U.S. Volker Turk criticized another attack on the ISIDA women’s reproductive health center that occurred shortly after, killing seven. President Joe Biden described the hospital attacks as a stark reminder of the cruelty involved and reassured continued robust support for Ukraine, declaring U.S. support as steadfast during an upcoming NATO Summit in Washington where new initiatives to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses were to be discussed.

These hospital attacks were part of a broader wave of missile strikes across Eastern and Central Ukraine that claimed at least 37 lives and injured more than 170, marking a significant escalation in aerial assaults on the nation.

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