Zaporizhia maternity ward strike: Newborn baby killed in Russian attack on Ukrainian hospital



CNN

A two-day-old baby died in a Russian raid on a maternity hospital in Vilnyansk in southeastern Ukraine on Wednesday, as Moscow stepped up its attacks on civilian infrastructure across the country.

The mother of a newborn baby and a doctor were pulled from the rubble of the destroyed medical facility in Zaporizhia, and nearby private homes were also damaged in the devastating S-300 missile attack.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the bombing and accused the Kremlin of trying to “achieve terror and murder”, while First Lady Olena Zelenska described the attack as “crazy”.

“The enemy has decided once again to try with terror and murder what it was not able to achieve for nine months and will not be able to achieve,” Zelensky said, referring to Russia.

The scenes of Wednesday’s attack mirrored that of the disastrous strike on a maternity and children’s hospital in the southern city of Mariupol in March, as part of a broader Russian campaign targeting healthcare facilities across Ukraine.

Ukrainian medical facilities have been hit by a wave of missiles in recent months, with the World Health Organization identifying some 703 attacks on medical complexes across the country since February.

The representative of the World Health Organization in Ukraine, Dr. Jarno Habicht, said on Monday that about one in five people in Ukraine is having difficulty obtaining medicines. Habicht added that the problem is getting worse in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions, where one in three people cannot get the medicine they need.

It is a problem that will be exacerbated by heavy snowfall during the harsh winter in Ukraine, a WHO official warned, posing an “enormous challenge” to the health system.

Zelensky said Moscow wanted to incite

Further north in Kyiv, Russia fired a deadly missile at an infrastructure facility after the city’s mayor warned of a harsh winter ahead amid widespread power outages and freezing temperatures.

Wednesday’s attack killed at least three people, including a 17-year-old girl, and injured at least 11 others, with local authorities later shutting down water supplies in the area after the bombing.

Ukraine’s state energy company, Okrengo, said the strike in Kyiv contributed to power outages in every region of the country on Wednesday afternoon, as recent Russian strikes targeting critical infrastructure knocked out much of the country’s power supply.

“We must also prepare for the worst-case scenario,” Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, told Germany’s Bild newspaper.

“It was in a state of widespread power outages and temperatures were much cooler,” he said in an interview published on Tuesday.

“Then parts of the city must be evacuated, but we don’t want it to come that far!”

The Kremlin has targeted critical energy facilities across Ukraine in recent weeks.

The Kremlin has been accused of deliberately targeting Ukraine’s civilian power grid in an effort to leave the civilian population without electricity and heat – an act that would amount to a war crime. A senior US State Department official said Monday that the consistent pattern of Russian attacks on civilian personnel in Ukraine is “extremely troubling.”

In a symbolic move that reiterated Western leaders’ condemnation of the Russian invasion, the European Parliament on Wednesday recognized the country as “a state sponsor of terrorism and a state that uses the means of terror.”

The European Union Parliament called on the European Union to “increase Russia’s international isolation” in a non-binding resolution, according to a press release.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the decision.

“Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long term policy of terror in Ukraine and around the world,” he wrote on Twitter.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also thanked the European Parliament for the “clear position” on Twitter.

CNN has reached out to the Russian authorities for comment.

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