Ukraine's President Appeals For Help After Deadly Hospital Strike

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges the United States and its allies to take decisive action against Russia as his nation mourns a strike on Ukraine's largest children's hospital. Zelenskyy's appeal came at the start of a NATO military alliance summit in Washington, although Moscow denied responsibility for the deaths.
Listen to Stefan Bos' report

By Stefan J. Bos 

He was welcomed as a hero, but he soon clarified that the real heroes were fighting on the frontlines against Russia's ongoing invasion. In an address on the sidelines of the NATO summit, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said action must be taken before the U.S. presidential election in November to repel Russia's offensive. "It's time to step out of the shadows to make strong decisions to act and not wait for November or any other months to descend. We must be strong and uncompromising all together," Zelenskyy stressed.

Back in Kyiv, injured children and babies were brought to safety. Others still search for survivors beneath the rubble of what was Ukraine's largest children's hospital.

Officials say it was struck in Russia's heaviest bombardment of Kyiv in almost four months and one of the deadliest of the war, hitting seven of the capital's ten districts.

The strike on the Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital, which interrupted open-heart surgery and forced young cancer patients to take their treatments outdoors, drew international condemnation.

The 10-story children's hospital was caring for 627 patients at the time of the attack, in which some did not survive. "The most significant loss is people," said Volodymyr Zhovnir, director-general of the Okhmatdyt Hospital. "Unfortunately, we lost a highly professional doctor who was very dedicated to children and prevented major casualties. We lost a young, qualified specialist as well. Of course, we also lost the building. It is completely destroyed," he added.

Russia denies wrongdoing 

Yet heard through an interpreter, Russia's United Nations ambassador Vasily Nebenzya denied his country was responsible for the strike. "We have often stated that Russia does not strike civilian targets in Ukraine. And speaking of strikes of the Russian Airforce which were conducted against military targets in Ukraine and the airbases of Ukraine," he said.  

However United Nations investigators say video footage and findings on site indicated the hospital "took a direct hit, rather than receiving damage due to an intercepted weapons system as Russia suggested.

They say a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile likely struck the hospital.

Investigators with the International Criminal Court in The Hague visited the hospital Tuesday to collect evidence for possible war crimes charges as hospitals are among sites protected under international law. 

Pope Francis has expressed his "deep distress" about the hospital attack.

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

10 July 2024, 17:13