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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Russia’s Missile and Drone Attacks on Ukraine Target Civilians, Including Children’s Hospital

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Russia launched a series of large-scale missile and drone attacks on several Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, and Pokrovsk, resulting in significant civilian casualties and widespread destruction. Among the targets was Okhmatdyt, Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital, which was directly hit by a missile, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

The spokesperson for the European Union issued a strong condemnation of these attacks, highlighting the severe impact on civilians.

“These attacks have caused a large number of civilian casualties, with dozens killed and many more injured. Okhmatdyt, the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine, was directly hit by a missile. A maternity hospital was later damaged too. Multiple residential buildings and several substations of the main energy company were completely destroyed.”

Okhmatdyt, known for its critical role in pediatric care and cancer treatment, represents a vital component of Ukraine’s healthcare infrastructure. The deliberate targeting of such a facility, along with a maternity hospital, underscores the severity of Russia’s actions. “By targeting Okhmatdyt, a symbol of Ukraine’s childcare medicine and treatment of children cancer, and attacking children, who are the most vulnerable, Russia once again demonstrates its cruelty and that it is utterly insincere about peace and peace negotiations,” the spokesperson emphasized.

The EU spokesperson reiterated the protections afforded to hospitals under international humanitarian law and the imperative to safeguard children.

“Under international humanitarian law, hospitals enjoy special protection. Children are never and can never be a legitimate target; they must be protected at all times.”

For over two years, Russia’s ongoing aggression has inflicted continuous terror on Ukraine’s population, with frequent attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. The spokesperson detailed the pattern of these assaults, stating, “For the past two and a half years Russia has been continuously terrorizing Ukraine’s population by waging its illegal war of aggression, intentionally targeting innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure massively across Ukraine’s territory, with large scale missiles and drone attacks, increasingly using glide bombs.”

The European Union stressed that deliberate attacks on civilians and non-military targets could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, emphasizing the international community’s commitment to accountability. “Deliberate attacks on civilians and civil objects which do not constitute a military objective may constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity. These and other war crimes are subject of international investigations, including at the ICC. Russia’s leadership, all commanders, perpetrators and accomplices of these atrocities will be held to account.”

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