July 23, 2024
Home » UN condemns ruthless Russian missile strikes, 37 killed

UN condemns ruthless Russian missile strikes, 37 killed


Russian missile strikes rained down on cities across Ukraine on Monday, resulting in the deaths of at least 37 people and extensive damage to critical infrastructure, including a children’s hospital in Kyiv. The United Nations and world leaders have swiftly condemned the attacks as a ruthless assault on civilians, with many describing the event as particularly abhorrent and barbaric.

Dozens of volunteers, hospital staff, and rescue workers combed through the debris of the Okhmatdyt pediatric hospital, desperately searching for survivors after the daytime bombardment.

The chaotic and heart-wrenching scenes were reported as medical staff hurriedly moved patients, including children with IV drips, to the facility’s basement when air raid sirens blared across the capital.

“For some reason, we always thought that Okhmatdyt was protected,” said Nina, a 68-year-old hospital employee. “We were 100 percent sure that they would not hit here,” she added, recounting the frantic rush to safeguard young patients.

The missile barrage, which President Volodymyr Zelensky said targeted five towns and cities in southern and eastern Ukraine as well as Kyiv, resulted in significant casualties and damage. At least 37 people were killed, including three children, and more than 170 were wounded. The strikes also damaged nearly 100 buildings, including multiple schools and a maternity hospital.

The Ukrainian Air Force reported that air defense systems managed to down 30 projectiles, but the scale of the attack was overwhelming. President Zelensky called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council and urged Ukraine’s allies to deliver a stronger response to Russia’s aggression.

“It is necessary to shoot down Russian missiles. It is necessary to destroy the Russian combat aircraft on its bases. It is necessary to take strong steps that will not leave any security deficit,” Zelensky emphasized ahead of a NATO summit where bolstering Ukraine’s air defenses is expected to be a key topic.

Following the attacks, US President Joe Biden pledged “new measures” to boost Ukraine’s air defenses, promising to work with allies to protect Ukrainian cities and civilians. UN rights chief Volker Turk denounced the “abominable” strikes, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, called the attack on medical facilities “particularly shocking.”

International leaders echoed this sentiment, with France’s foreign ministry labeling the bombardment of the children’s hospital as “barbaric,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling it “abhorrent,” and Japan’s government spokesman strongly condemning the strikes.

The United States also denounced the missile attack as another “savage” assault on civilians, and the European Union criticized Moscow for its “ruthless” actions.

In response, Russia claimed that the extensive damage in Kyiv was the result of Ukrainian air defense systems and maintained that their forces had struck “intended targets,” which they asserted were defense industry and military installations.

Amid the chaos, DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy company, reported that three of its electrical substations in Kyiv had been destroyed or damaged. Russian strikes on electricity infrastructure have severely impacted Ukraine’s power generation capacity, which has been halved compared to the previous year.

The assault marks another in a series of massive barrages targeting the capital since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The last major attack on Kyiv involving drones and missiles occurred just last month.

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