Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vows retaliation after Russian attack on children's hospital

Russian attack on children's hospital

World leaders from Western nations and the UN have condemned Russia's missile attack on Ukraine that claimed the lives of many in broad daylight.

The strikes, targeting cities across the country, inflicted heavy casualties, with at least 36 killed, including many at Ukraine's largest children's hospital.

The attack on the hospital left a distressing scene, with an unknown number of people trapped under the debris.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed retaliation as he said Kyiv's Okhmatdyt Hospital, major treatment centre in the country for children with cancer, had taken a direct missile hit.

"Russia cannot help but know where its missiles are flying, and must fully answer for all its crimes: against people, against children, against humanity in general," Zelenskiy posted on the Telegram messaging app.

Leaders condemn the attack

A spokesperson for António Guterres, the UN secretary general, delivered a strong condemnation, particularly for the shocking attacks on the children's hospital and another medical facility. The UN Security Council will convene on Tuesday (Jul 9) in response to this outrage, a request jointly made by Britain, France, Ecuador, Slovenia, and the US.

Barbara Woodward, the UK ambassador to the UN, said on X, "The children of Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital gave me this last year. It hangs in my office. We will call out Russia's cowardly and depraved attack on the hospital last night in the Security Council."

The Italian foreign minister, Antonio Tajani, called the missile strike a war crime.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer condemned "attacking innocent children" as the most immoral action.

The attack

Russia launched multiple missile strikes across Ukrainian cities on Monday (Jul 8), killing 36 people and damaging a children's hospital in Kyiv.

The strike largely destroyed the hospital's toxicology ward, where children with severe kidney issues were being treated.

Officials and emergency staff said it was not immediately clear how many doctors and patients - dead or alive - remained trapped under the rubble.

According to President Zelensky 40 missiles were used in the attack.

Russia denies launching attacks

Russia's defence ministry on Monday claimed that the extensive missile damage in Kyiv following strikes was in fact caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile.

Photo and video footage from the scene "confirm that the damage was caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile," the ministry said.