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Leaders condemn latest Russian missile attacks on Ukraine

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared this image of a young hospital patient wounded in Monday’s Russian missile attack.
Moscow came under renewed condemnation this week after a series of Russian missile strikes killed at least 39 people in Ukraine, including a pediatrician and another adult at the country’s largest children’s hospital.

About 20 children were being treated in the ward hit Monday at Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv. Pictures showed young children, some with IV drips, sitting outside as the hospital was evacuated.

“One part of the hospital was destroyed and there was a fire in another,” said Dr. Lesia Lysytsia. “It’s really very damaged—maybe 60-70 per cent of the hospital.”

The facility specializes in cancer treatment and organ transplants. A nearby maternity hospital was also hit. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko accused Russia of attempting the “genocide of [the] population in Ukraine.”

Elsewhere in Kyiv, a mother and two children were killed in their apartment and two women were found dead in a house. In all, more than 100 buildings were damaged.

En route to Washington, where NATO leaders were converging for a summit, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 190 people had been wounded and 64 hospitalized in the attacks. He renewed his call for more air defences, saying the world had the “necessary strength” to stop what he described as “Russian terror.”

“We will retaliate against these people, we will deliver a powerful response from our side to Russia, for sure,” said Zelenskyy. “The question to our partners is: can they respond?”

Iryna Filimonova, head nurse on the hospital’s urology ward, said they were mid-surgery when the missile struck. “Our patient was a two-year-old girl. There was a huge explosion. We looked at each other and carried on.”

Okhmatdyt, the largest hospital of its kind in the country, was unable to function after the strike, said Filimonova. Its 2,000 staff treated children from across Ukraine, with a six-month waiting list for appointments and surgery. Its patients had been transferred elsewhere.

The Kremlin claimed the hospital was hit by a wayward Ukrainian interceptor missile, despite video clearly showing what Ukraine authorities identified as a Russian Kh-101 missile moments before impact. A Russian spokesman said Ukraine was staging “a PR operation steeped in blood” ahead of the NATO summit.

Patients, family members and medical staff are evacuated from patients, their families and medical staff are evacuated from Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv after Monday’s Russian missile strike.
Dmytro Kulbea/X

“Murderers who attack children in hospitals are the dregs of humanity.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the attack as “abhorrent.”

“Striking a children’s hospital—and the innocent children inside—cannot be justified,” he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden described the attack as a “horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality.” British Prime Minister Keir Starmer condemned “attacking innocent children” as the “most depraved of actions.” Italian foreign minister Antonio Tajani called it a war crime. UN rights chief Volker Türk condemned the strikes as “abominable,” while the French foreign ministry called them “barbaric.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on July 5, 2024, he expected heads of state and government will agree to a substantial package for Ukraine that “constitute a bridge to NATO membership.”

Czech foreign minister Jan Lipavský said he summoned the Russian ambassador. “Murderers who attack children in hospitals are the dregs of humanity,” he said. “He has been instructed to deliver the message in Moscow.”

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warmly embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin after landing in Moscow on Monday. Modi said he was there to cement the “bonds of friendship” between the two countries and effusively described Russia as India’s “all-weather friend and trusted ally.”

He refrained from directly criticizing Russia for Monday’s attacks, saying the deaths of innocent children are always painful and terrifying.

“Whether it is war, conflict or a terrorist attack, any person who believes in humanity is pained when there is loss of lives,” Modi said. “But even in that, when innocent children are killed, the heart bleeds and that pain is very terrifying.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warmly embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin after landing in Moscow on Monday.
India has refused to join the West in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and abstained from UN votes denouncing Moscow. India is the largest buyer of Russian oil, still sending billions to the country’s coffers, effectively undermining Western sanctions.

Zelenskyy said it was a “huge disappointment” and a “devastating blow to peace efforts” to see Modi hug Putin on the very day of the attacks.

Figures published by Russia Matters, a project by Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, indicate Russian forces occupied 11 per cent of Ukraine as of June 18, 2024.

It said Russian forces had suffered 200,000 killed, severely wounded and missing; Ukraine had suffered more than 130,000 military and 11,126 civilian casualties.

It said Russia had lost 16,472 military vehicles and equipment, including 9,223 tanks and armoured vehicles, 255 aircraft and 26 naval vessels.


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