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Russian Strikes Kill Dozens in Ukraine

Three people were killed in Pokrovsk, in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian forces have taken control of a number of villages in recent weeks.

A children’s hospital in Kyiv has been hit after Russia launched a wave of missile strikes against cities across Ukraine.

Two people died when the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital – Ukraine’s biggest paediatrics facility – sustained major damage during the blast.

Thirty-six people were killed and 140 people were injured in the strikes, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak said on Monday.

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Lesia Lysytsia, a doctor at the hospital, told the BBC the moment the missile struck was “like in a film” with a “big light, then an awful sound”.

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“One part of the hospital was destroyed and there was a fire in another. It’s really very damaged – maybe 60-70% of the hospital,” she said.

Pictures from the scene showed young children – some with IV drips – sitting outside the hospital as it was evacuated.

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Vitaliy Klitschko, Kyiv’s mayor, said the two who died at the hospital were adults – one of whom was a doctor. He added that rescuers feared more people were trapped under the rubble.

Russia has denied targeting the hospital, saying it was hit by fragments of a Ukrainian air defence missile. But Ukraine says it has found remnants of a Russian cruise missile.

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Patients had to be taken to safety with their intravenous drips still attached.

Ohmatdyt is a major hospital which carries out cancer treatment and organ transplants.

“Now we are in the process of evacuating patients to the nearest hospital.. [but] many patients are intubated and on ventilators and cannot have contact with other patients or go outside,” Dr Lysytsia said.

Hospital officials told Ukrainian TV that about 20 children were being treated in the ward which was hit.

Following the strike, Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina wore a black ribbon as a mark of respect when she played in the round of 16 at Wimbledon on Monday afternoon.

Mayor Klitschko accused Russia of attempting the “genocide of [the] population in Ukraine”.

“Right now the whole world can see how Russian missiles and Kamikaze drones killed Ukrainian citizens in our peaceful city.

The mayor added that a separate maternity hospital in Kyiv’s Dniprovsky district had also been partially destroyed by falling debris, killing seven people.

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Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina wore a black ribbon while playing Wimbledon tennis championships in London as a mark of respect

Mr Zelensky wrote on social media that “more than 40 missiles of different types” had hit buildings and infrastructure in cities including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

He called for a stronger Western response “to the blow that Russia has once again delivered on our population, on our land, on our children”.

Dnipro regional head Sergiy Lysak said one person was killed in Dnipro city and six more injured. He added that a high-rise building and a business had been hit.

Three people were killed in Pokrovsk, in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian forces have taken control of a number of villages in recent weeks.

The Russian bombardment comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Moscow for a two-day state visit where he is due to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Russia, which has denied targeting civilian infrastructure, said the damage to the children’s hospital was caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile.

However, the Security Service of Ukraine has published pictures of what it says are fragments of a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile recovered from the site.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister Rustem Umerov responded to the attacks by urging the country’s allies to help quickly strengthen its air defences.

“Our defence capabilities are still insufficient… We need more air defence systems,” he said.

Ukraine’s allies have condemned the attack on the Ohmatdyt hospital, with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell accusing Russia of “ruthlessly targeting Ukrainian civilians”.

New UK Foreign Secretary David Lammy said “we must hold those responsible for Putin’s illegal war to account”.

UN chief António Guterres strongly condemned the strikes, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, adding he found the attack on the children’s hospital and another medical facility “particularly shocking”.

“Directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects is prohibited by international humanitarian law, and any such attacks are unacceptable and must end immediately,” he said.

The UN’s human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine has said civilian casualties have been mounting in recent months, as Russia renewed its air campaign. A recent report said May was the deadliest month for civilian deaths in almost a year.

Sourcebbc

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