Biden slams „Russia’s brutality“ in Ukraine as videos appear to show missile strike on Kyiv children’s hospital

The United Nations on Tuesday said there was a „high likelihood“ a children’s hospital in Kyiv suffered „a direct hit“ from a Russian missile Monday. Ukrainian officials accused Russia of hitting the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital with a cruise missile — part of a wave of daytime strikes that killed at least 40 people across the country on Monday.

President Biden also put the blame squarely on Russia for the strike on the hospital, which Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said killed two people, including a 30-year-old doctor, and wounded 32 others, including eight children.

Mr. Biden called the Russian strikes „a horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality“ and said it was „critical that the world continues to stand with Ukraine at this important moment and that we not ignore Russian aggression.“

The U.S. leader said he and Ukraine’s other Western partners would — at the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., this week that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is attending — „be announcing new measures to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses to help protect their cities and civilians from Russian strikes.“

Rescuers work at Ohmatdyt Children's Hospital that was damaged during a Russian missile strikes, in Kyiv
People watch as rescuers work at Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital that was damaged during a Russian missile strikes, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 8, 2024.

Gleb Garanich/REUTERS

Russia has denied responsibility for the hospital strike, claiming without evidence that all the damage in Kyiv was caused by Ukraine’s own air defense interceptor missiles.

Ukraine’s military said it shot down the majority of the roughly 40 missiles fired by Russia on Monday, but video clips shared widely on social media and analyzed by CBS News appear to show a direct strike on the hospital in Kyiv – not with an air defense missile, but with a Russian cruise missile.

A maternity hospital in the Ukrainian capital was also damaged Monday. Seven people were killed there, according to the country’s military, which said the casualties were „a result of the Russian attack.“

There was no claim of a direct missile strike on the maternity facility, and a message posted by Ukraine’s emergency services suggested the damage was likely caused by debris falling from a missile interception.

Russia Hits Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital With Kh-101 Missile
People remove rubble at the Ohmatdyt National Specialized Children’s Hospital after officials said it was struck the previous day by a Russian Kh-101 strategic cruise missile, in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 9, 2024.

Pavlo Bahmut/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty

Danielle Bell, head of the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, called Monday’s Russian missile salvo „one of the most egregious attacks that we’ve seen since the onset of the full-scale invasion“ in February 2022.

Bell, speaking about the attack on the children’s hospital, told reporters in Geneva that multiple videos showed „the weapon directly impacting the hospital.“

„Analysis of the video footage and assessment made at the incident site indicates a high likelihood that the children’s hospital suffered a direct hit, rather than receiving damages due to an intercepted weapons system,“ said Bell.

An image taken from video verified by CBS News on July 8, 2024 shows what appears to be a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile immediately before it hit a pediatric hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine.

„This must be investigated,“ said Bell. She said her team and military experts had observed the damage at the hospital and spoken to staff, patients‘ parents and local residents.

Bell said Russia had likely fired from an aircraft a Kh-101 air-to-surface cruise missile armed with about 500 pounds of explosives.

„The factors suggesting that it was a direct hit are based on video footage which shows the technical specification of the type of weapon that was used; it shows the weapon directly impacting the hospital, rather than being intercepted in the air,“ said Bell.

CBS News‘ own analysis of the widely circulated videos also suggest it was a Kh-101 missile that hit the hospital on Monday. While the impact is obscured by another building in the clips, the missile can be clearly seen flying toward the ground, followed by a flash. CBS News has geolocated the video to confirm it shows the strike on the hospital.

Bell said that at the time of the attack, 670 child patients and more than a thousand medical staff were at the Okhmatdyt paediatric hospital, a specialist facility where families from across the country bring their children for treatment of serious medical conditions including cancer and kidney disease.

CBS News Confirmed producer Joanne Stocker contributed to this report.

Source link