Russian strikes killed a newborn baby in a maternity ward in Ukraine and two other civilians elsewhere, officials said Wednesday, as President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “terrorism and murder”.
Ukraine’s emergency services said Russian missiles hit a building overnight in Vilnyansk, part of the southern Zaporizhia region, in the latest attack to damage medical facilities since the war began nine months ago.
They circulated a video of emergency service workers trying to free a man trapped in the rubble of what appeared to be the destroyed maternity ward.
“As a result of a missile attack on the local hospital area, the two-storey building of the maternity ward was destroyed,” they said in a statement.
They added that there was “a woman with a newborn and a doctor” inside the building at the time.
The regional governor, Oleksandr Starukh, said on the Telegram messaging app on Wednesday: “In the night, Russian monsters fired huge missiles at the small maternity ward of Vilnyansk hospital.
“Our hearts are filled with grief – a baby who had just seen the light was killed. Rescue workers are working on the site.”
Pictures he posted show thick smoke billowing over piles of rubble, and emergency workers combing it against the backdrop of a dark night sky.
Rescuers said the child died while the woman and doctor were pulled from the rubble. They added that according to preliminary information, no one else was trapped under the rubble.
Russian strikes have hit Ukrainian hospitals several times since Russia invaded the country on February 24, including the port city of Mariupol, which endured a harsh siege for several weeks before it came under Moscow’s control.
An attack last March on a Mariupol hospital killed three people, including a child. Ukraine and its Western allies condemned the strike. Moscow insisted it had been “staged”.
An injured pregnant woman is carried from a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine in March 2022. source: aap
“terrorism and murder”
Elsewhere on Wednesday, two people were killed when an apartment building and a clinic were bombed in the northeastern Kharkiv region, local governor Oleg Synigubov said.
“Around 7:40 a.m. local time, Kobyansk was bombed. A nine-storey residential building and a clinic were damaged. Unfortunately, two people died: a 55-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man,” said Sinigubov. on social media.
“The enemy has decided once again to try to achieve terror and murder what it has not been able to achieve for nine months and will not be able to achieve,” Zelensky said on social media after the attacks.
The World Health Organization said earlier this week that it had recorded more than 700 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.
“Continued attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean that hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities are no longer operating at full capacity,” Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the United Nations health agency, told reporters.
Russia has systematically targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, causing massive damage ahead of winter, which Mr. Kluge said “is already having negative effects on the health system and on people’s health.”
The small town of Vilnyansk, about 45 kilometers from the front line, was targeted last week by Russian strikes that killed 10 people, officials said.
It is located in the Zaporizhzhia region, which Moscow has claimed to have annexed despite not having complete control over the region.