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Russian missiles hit children’s cancer hospital in Kyiv

At least 20 people were killed and more than 60 injured as Russian missiles struck multiple cities across Ukraine on Monday, July 8, 2024. The main children’s cancer hospital in Kyiv, Okhmatdyt, was severely damaged.

Kyiv’s mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, confirmed that Okhmatdyt, Ukraine’s leading children’s cancer treatment centre, took a direct hit. Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko reported seven deaths and four injuries at the hospital.

In Kryvyi Rih, 10 fatalities and 31 injuries were reported due to residential area strikes. Additional casualties included three deaths in Pokrovsk and one in Dnipro.

Ukraine’s air force reported that Russia deployed hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, advanced weapons that are challenging to intercept.

The assault comes as NATO leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy prepare for a Washington summit focused on strengthening NATO’s stance against Russia and bolstering Ukraine’s defences.

The blast at Okhmatdyt caused significant damage, ripping off the facade and shattering windows. Glass and debris continued to fall from the structure hours after the attack.

Hundreds of volunteers and rescue workers arrived to clear the rubble and rescue those trapped. Klymenko estimated a three-hour window to save those buried.

Ukraine’s presidential office released an image of a child with a head injury amidst the devastation. Hospital staff, visibly shocked and injured, were seen in dusty scrubs amidst the rubble.

President Zelenskyy, who arrived in Warsaw on Monday morning, condemned the attack, calling for accountability from Russia. “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,” he said.

Russia’s defence ministry did not address the strike on the children’s hospital, instead implying Ukraine was to blame, claiming a Ukrainian anti-air missile caused the destruction.

Russian missiles also hit Dnipro, Kropyvnytskyi, and Kryvyi Rih, with additional civilian casualties reported. Kryvyi Rih houses significant industrial enterprises, and an industrial complex in Dnipro was struck.

NATO leaders are expected to commit to a one-year, €40bn support package for Ukraine amid domestic political challenges within key alliance members, potentially limiting long-term resource commitments.