Russia Unleashes Hypersonic Missiles in Deadly Kyiv Attack, Targeting Children's Hospital

World Defense

Russia Unleashes Hypersonic Missiles in Deadly Kyiv Attack, Targeting Children's Hospital

In a devastating assault that shook Ukraine to its core, Russian missiles rained down on cities across the country on Monday. The attack, one of the most brutal since the conflict began, targeted Ukraine's largest children's hospital, causing unprecedented chaos and heartbreak.

The daytime barrage saw over 40 missiles of various types unleashed on five Ukrainian cities. The Ukrainian air force managed to intercept 30 of these missiles, but the damage was already catastrophic. In Kyiv, seven of the city's ten districts were hit, resulting in the deaths of at least seven people, including two staff members at the Okhmatdyt children's hospital. Strikes in Kryvyi Rih, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's birthplace, claimed the lives of ten more.

The most harrowing scenes unfolded at the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital. Debris fell into the open chests of heart patients in the middle of surgery, while young cancer patients had their beds wheeled outdoors amidst the chaos. The attack forced surgeries to be interrupted and critical treatments to be administered outside, as the hospital lost water, light, and oxygen. Rescue teams searched through the rubble of the partially collapsed wing, trying to save those trapped beneath.

President Zelenskyy condemned the assault in a passionate plea to the world. "It is very important that the world should not be silent about it now and that everyone should see what Russia is and what it is doing,” he declared on social media. His words echoed as he visited Poland, hoping the upcoming NATO summit in Washington would provide more air defense systems to protect Ukraine from further atrocities.

The international community reacted swiftly. U.S. President Joe Biden described the missile strikes as "a horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality." U.N. human rights commissioner Volker Türk, who visited the hospital, was appalled by the sight of young patients receiving cancer treatments in makeshift outdoor setups. "This is abominable, and I implore those with influence to do everything in their power to ensure these attacks stop immediately,” Türk said.

The attacks came just a day before Western leaders were set to begin a three-day NATO summit to discuss further support for Ukraine. The summit was seen as a critical moment to reassure Kyiv of the alliance’s unwavering support amidst Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II.

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed the strikes targeted Ukrainian defense plants and military air bases, denying any intention of hitting civilian facilities. However, evidence from the scenes painted a different picture, with widespread devastation in civilian areas. Over 1,600 medical facilities have been damaged since the start of the war, with 214 completely destroyed, according to Ukrainian Health Ministry statistics.

The Ukrainian air force noted that Russia has been enhancing the effectiveness of its airstrikes, equipping missiles with heat traps to evade air-defense systems. In Monday’s attack, some of the weapons used were Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, among the most advanced in Russia’s arsenal, flying at 10 times the speed of sound and making them nearly impossible to intercept.

As Kyiv mourned the lives lost, the city's administrators declared July 9 a day of mourning. Entertainment events were prohibited, and flags were lowered in honor of the victims. The Ukrainian Security Service opened proceedings on war crime charges, with evidence of Russian Kh-101 cruise missiles found at the attack sites.

The international response included a scheduled emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, called by France and Ecuador, to address the shocking attacks. The council, presided over by Russia this month, faces the grim task of addressing these brutal assaults that starkly highlight the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

In the aftermath, Kyiv’s residents grappled with the devastation. Halina Sichievka, a 28-year-old resident, described the destruction of her home. “Now we don’t have anything in our apartment, no windows, no doors, nothing. Nothing at all,” she lamented.

As the world watches, Ukraine endures another painful chapter in a conflict that shows no signs of abating. The call for peace grows louder, with hopes that international solidarity will eventually bring an end to the suffering.

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