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Zelenskyy denounces Kyiv children’s hospital attack in Russian barrage

Emergency and rescue personnel along with medics and others clear the rubble of the destroyed building of Ohmatdyt Children's Hospital following a Russian missile attack in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on July 8, amid Russian invasion in Ukraine. Russia launched more than 40 missiles at several cities across Ukraine on July 8 in an attack that killed at least 20 people and smashed into a children's hospital in Kyiv, officials said.   (Getty Images)
By Volodymyr Verbianyi and Kateryna Chursina Bloomberg News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced a Russian-launched missile attack that partially destroyed a children’s hospital in Kyiv as part of a barrage of strikes across the country that killed at least 31 people.

Ukraine’s Air Force said 30 of 38 missiles were intercepted in the attack, with damage caused by the remaining missiles and from falling debris. In the capital, images emerged of crowds outside the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in the city center trying to remove rubble from the scene. The missile struck a building where children were undergoing dialysis, Zelenskyy said.

“We will restore everything that was destroyed by these terrorists,” Zelenskyy said in Warsaw as he made his way to a NATO summit in Washington, adding that more than 100 were injured. “Undoubtedly, we will respond.”

The attack came as military alliance leaders were set to gather to discuss their future cooperation with Kyiv as the war stretches well into its third year. Although Zelenskyy will fall short in his ambition to join the alliance, NATO leaders will offer a range of security guarantees. The latest was signed in Warsaw on Monday, with Poland offering its backing.

Ukraine’s State Security Service said a preliminary investigation showed that Russian forces deployed X-101 cruise missile in the hospital strike, which killed at least two personnel and injured 10 – including two children. The agency opened a probe into war crimes.

“The Security Service will do its best to compel the enemy to face the maximum revenge for any of its crimes, including the one against Ukraine committed today,” it said in a statement.

The death toll rose to at least 20 in the capital after explosions were heard in central Kyiv. In Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine, steelmaker Metinvest said 10 workers were killed when a missile struck an administrative building.

Downed rockets include a high-precision Kinzhal ballistic missile and three Iskander-M ballistic rockets, the Air Force said.

‘Callous aggression’

The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, denounced the barrage as she cited the NATO meeting.

“This callous aggression – a total disregard for human life, jeopardizing European & Transatlantic security – is why leaders will make significant security commitments to Ukraine this week,” Brink said in a statement on social platform X.

Russian forces have intensified aerial assaults on Ukraine this year, primarily targeting the country’s energy infrastructure. The attacks have decimated the country’s power-generating capacity, including knocking out some 80% of thermal power production. They’ve triggered widespread blackouts, which previously were only common during the winter.

Strikes in Kryvyi Rih, Zelenskyy’s hometown, injured more than 30, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said on Telegram, citing a hit on a plant’s administrative building.

The missile barrage over Kyiv was the first such strike since late March. Missile debris fell in seven city districts, causing damage, setting fire to a business center, a hospital, private homes, garages and cars, according to Ukraine’s emergency services.