Russian forces launched a missile strike on Kyiv's Okhmadyt Hospital, the nation's largest children's medical center, on Monday. The attack, which has sparked global outrage, left at least 36 people dead and 140 injured, including terrified children undergoing treatment for cancer. The international community has been quick to condemn the strike, with UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer calling it "the most depraved of actions."

Amid the chaos, scenes of despair and heroism unfolded as rescuers pulled children from the rubble and mothers carried their injured children to safety. Marina Ploskonos, whose four-year-old son had spinal surgery just days before, described the terror of the attack. "My child is terrified. This shouldn't be happening, it's a children's hospital," she told reporters.

The missile strike was part of a broader daytime assault on Ukrainian cities, including Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Slovyansk, and Kramatorsk, making it one of the largest in recent months. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack, calling it a deliberate act of terror. "The hospital has been damaged by a Russian strike, there are people under the rubble, and the exact number of casualties is still unknown," Zelensky said. "Russia cannot claim ignorance of where its missiles are flying and must be held fully accountable for all its crimes."

The attack on Okhmadyt Hospital struck a nerve globally. UK Foreign Secretary David Lammy described it as a "horrific attack on civilians," adding, "We must hold those responsible for Putin's illegal war to account." Kidney specialist Svitlana Lukyanchik was among those killed in the hospital strike. Journalist Yigal Levin mourned her death, highlighting her dedication to helping the most defenseless children.

In the wake of the attack, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko declared a day of mourning. "This is not a special operation. It's not a war. It is a genocide of the people of Ukraine," Klitschko said. "You can see how Russian missiles and kamikaze drones kill civilians. Don't listen to Russian propaganda."

The Kremlin, however, has denied targeting civilian infrastructure, claiming instead that the hospital was hit by a Ukrainian air defense missile. "The statements by the regime in Kyiv about Russia's allegedly deliberate missile strike on civilian sites are absolutely unreal," the Russian Ministry of Defence stated. Despite these denials, military analysts and eyewitnesses insist the attack was deliberate.

Lieutenant General Ihor Romanenko, former deputy head of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, argued that the strike was intended to exert psychological pressure on Ukrainians. "They struck Okhmadyt to hit a nerve, so that Ukrainians, Kyivans get emotional and pressure their leaders to agree with a Kremlin-proposed plan," Romanenko said.

Residents near the hospital shared their horror and disbelief. Oleksandra, who lives close to Okhmadyt, was still shaking hours after the blast. "We can always have the windows replaced," she said, clutching a cigarette. "It was the damage done to Okhmadyt that shocked me."

Serhiy, a construction engineer and native of the eastern Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, witnessed the missile hits. "Those were hits, not midair collisions with air defense missiles," he said, pointing to the methodical intervals between explosions.

Despite the devastation, the resilience of Kyiv's residents and medical staff was evident. "Everything was flying around - sketches, papers, things," one hospital worker said, describing the chaos inside the hospital during the attack.

The attack on the children's hospital underscores the brutal reality of Russia's tactics in Ukraine. Since the start of the full-scale invasion in 2022, civilian sites, including schools, hospitals, and shelters, have been repeatedly targeted. "We must hold Russia accountable for its acts of terror and Putin for ordering the strikes," President Zelensky reiterated.

The international community has rallied behind Ukraine, with U.S. President Joe Biden condemning the bombing as a "horrific reminder of Russia's brutality." Zelensky has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address the bombing and seek further international support.