A Russian missile strike on a children's hospital in Kyiv on Monday has left at least 31 people dead and over 150 injured, with the toll expected to rise as rescue operations continue. The assault, part of a wider daytime bombardment on cities across Ukraine, including Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Slovyansk, and Kramatorsk, has sparked outrage and condemnation both within Ukraine and internationally.

The missile attack on the Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital, Ukraine's largest children's medical center, has been particularly devastating. The facility, vital in treating some of the country's sickest children, saw its intensive care units, oncology departments, and surgery units heavily damaged. Videos from the scene show volunteers and emergency workers sifting through the rubble, with smoke billowing from the building.

Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko detailed the aftermath in a Telegram post, emphasizing the immediate priority of rescuing those trapped under the debris. "The key task here is to get people out of the rubble and provide assistance to those we can reach, as we have already taken out all the first ones," he said.

Moscow's defense ministry claimed the strikes targeted military-industrial facilities and air bases, using long-range, high-precision weapons. However, the extensive damage to civilian infrastructure, including the children's hospital, has drawn severe criticism. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to hold Russia accountable for what he described as acts of terror.


Eyewitnesses from the hospital recount harrowing experiences. Natalia Sardudinova, a senior nurse, described the chaotic moments following the strike: "It was loud, the windows were crunching. As soon as the alarm sounded, the children were taken out into the corridor." She added that two children were in operating theaters at the time and were moved to a basement shelter once their procedures were completed. "Everything was in smoke, there was no air to breathe," she said.

Yulia Vasylenko, whose 11-year-old son was undergoing cancer treatment at the hospital, described the desperate evacuation: "My son is on painkillers. He has cancer. He has been without medication for half a day. He was brought down the stairs from the third floor. There was smoke and heavy dust." Another nurse, Oksana Mosiychuk, recounted the medical team's efforts to extinguish a fire in their department: "One of our colleagues was heavily injured, he had numerous cuts and shrapnel wounds, and was taken away by an ambulance. I also have minor shrapnel wounds, but I'm fine."

The United Nations' human rights chief, Volker Turk, condemned the attack and described the scene where children were receiving treatment in makeshift outdoor triage areas amidst chaos and debris. "Shockingly, one of the strikes severely damaged the intensive care, surgical, and oncology wards of Okhmatdyt, which is Ukraine's largest children's referral hospital," Turk said.

In response to the attack, the UN Security Council will hold a special meeting to discuss Russia's actions. Zelenskyy called for an emergency assembly while vowing retaliation. "Apartment buildings, infrastructure, and a children's hospital have been damaged. All services are engaged to rescue as many people as possible," he wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Ukraine's defense minister, Rustem Umerov, appealed for more air defense systems, echoing Zelenskyy's repeated calls for Western support to better protect Ukrainian cities. Last month, President Joe Biden signed a security agreement prioritizing the delivery of air defense systems to Ukraine.

The international community has strongly condemned the attack. France urged for the assault to be added to the list of war crimes for which Russia will be held accountable. The United Kingdom's Prime Minister Keir Starmer described the hospital strike as "the most depraved of actions." Catherine Russell, a top official at the UN's children's agency, emphasized the brutality of the attack, saying it is a stark reminder that nowhere is safe for children in Ukraine.

Since the onset of the full-scale invasion, there have been over 1,600 instances of heavy weapons attacks impacting medical facilities in Ukraine, according to the World Health Organization. These attacks have resulted in 141 deaths, with previous strikes on maternity and children's hospitals drawing significant international condemnation.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko expressed the city's anguish, telling CNN's Becky Anderson, "It's a really difficult day in our hometown. Today's one of the biggest massive missile attacks on our hometown."