Home World NATO urged to take action after Putin unleashes 'genocidal' hypersonic missile attacks

NATO urged to take action after Putin unleashes 'genocidal' hypersonic missile attacks

The aftermath of the missile attacks in Ukraine

The missile attacks have left at least 33 people dead (Image: Getty)

Russia launched a series of “genocidal” hypersonic missile attacks on Kyiv – and across wider Ukraine – obliterating a children’s cancer hospital and leaving at least 33 dead.

A world-famous fertility clinic was also hit in the Ukrainian capital killing seven, though it is not yet known if they were patients or staff.

Just hours after the UK’s new Defence Secretary John Healey pledged Britain’s continued support for Ukraine with a huge fresh military aid package, Kremlin forces again went on the offensive.

In a first major test of the new Labour Government’s resolve, Vladimir Putin’s military launched ‘one of the worst missile attacks of the war’, Ukrainian authorities said, hitting a number of civilian targets throughout the morning, leaving death and despair in their wake.

During a prolonged and rare daylight onslaught, Russia used advanced Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to pound an array of targets, according to Ukraine’s air force.

The strikes sparked numerous explosions, killing dozens of civilians – including women and children – in multiple cities.

The attacks were first felt in the capital Kyiv, with falling debris subsequently igniting sprawling fires in several districts.

In one of the worst atrocities of the conflict, the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in the capital was all but destroyed, killing at least five, with haunting pictures showing bloodied and terrified sick children being pulled from the rubble.

Among the dead at the hospital was also Svitlana Lukyanchik, 30, a paediatric kidney doctor.

She was an orphan from Lviv who became a leading doctor after graduating from Ukraine’s National Medical University.

Footage appeared to show the moment the missile slammed into the medical building without warning.

Authorities said they feared more youngsters were buried beneath the rubble of the collapsed hospital.

Another doctor was also said to be missing.

Frantic rescuers and medics in blood-spattered uniforms were seen forming human chains as they toiled to move boulders from the smouldering building.

At least 19 people were killed in Kyiv in total with many more seriously wounded.

Five of the dead were later confirmed to have perished during the strike on the children’s hospital.

Another seven died at the renowned Isida IVF maternity hospital, used by many foreign couples to help conceive.

A furious President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “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.

“It is very important that the world is not silent about this now and that everyone sees what Russia is, what she is doing.”

Okhmatdyt is the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine and treats cancer patients.

As a result of the strike, the toxicology department was left as a pile of rubble, authorities said.

In harrowing scenes, as rescuers desperately searched for survivors, sick and injured children were seen sitting outside, still attached to drips.

A child caught up in the Russian missile attack on Ukraine

Okhmatdyt children’s hospital was among the targets of Russia’s latest attack (Image: Getty)

“Now the hospital has been damaged by a Russian strike, there are people under the rubble, the exact number of wounded and dead is still unknown,” Mr Zelensky added.

“Now everyone is helping to clear the rubble: doctors, ordinary people.”

Kyiv children’s hospital Okhmadit also specialises in providing youngsters with dialysis, Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko said.
He said that was why so many were still attached to blood purification devices as they were helped from the smoking building yesterday.

Intensive care, operating, and oncology departments were all destroyed, he added.

“The first task is to transport patients to a place where there is a ventilator and oxygen.”

Lesia Lysytsia, a doctor at the children’s hospital, told how the moment the missile struck was “like in a film” with a “big light, then an awful sound”.

“One part of the hospital was destroyed and there was a fire in another. It’s really very damaged – maybe 60-70per cent of the hospital,” she said.

But the Russian attacks were not confined to the Ukrainian capital.

Other cities – notably Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Slov’yansk and Krematorsk – were also hit in a brutal attack from Putin’s forces that appeared to strike only civilian targets.

Casualties were still being assessed last night, but in Kryvyi Rih, birthplace of President Zelensky, at least 10 people were reported killed, with 31 more wounded.

The president himself had only recently left Ukraine for a visit to Poland but issued a furious response.

“More than 40 missiles of various types,” he said.

“Residential buildings, infrastructure, and a children’s hospital have been damaged.”

A further three civilians were killed in the eastern town of Pokrovsk.

Mr Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak later said: “Attack on Ukraine at a time when there are the most people on the streets. Crazy Russian terrorists.

“They beat the cities, where there were many people. They hit the children’s hospital. There are children. It is a terror that the world must see and respond to. This is genocide.”

One target appeared to be an unfinished business centre near the Lukyanovskaya metro station in the centre of Kyiv.

In Krematorsk, the Russian Armed Forces hit a machine-building plant, with a column of smoke rising above it.

In Kryvyi Rih the administrative building of an industrial enterprise was hit.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko urged residents to stay in shelters last night amid fears of further strikes.

Last night, Moscow denied targeting civilian infrastructure, insisting the strikes had been aimed at military facilities.

And Russian sources later baselessly claimed that the children’s hospital hit had been a “plant” amid a number of targeted “patriot missile complexes”.

But the savagery of the attacks will be a test for Keir Starmer’s new government – with the UK standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in 2022.

Mr Starmer tweeted: “Attacking innocent children. The most depraved of actions. We stand with Ukraine against Russian aggression – our support won’t falter.”

Foreign Secretary David Lammy added: “Russia’s strike on the Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv is an appalling attack on Ukrainian civilians.

“My thoughts are with all the victims and their loved ones. The UK’s support to Ukraine is iron-clad. We must hold those responsible for Putin’s illegal war to account.”

Just hours before yesterday’s attack, new UK Defence Secretary Mr Healey had travelled to the southern Ukrainian port of Odesa where he held talks with President Zelensky and Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov. The Ukrainian president later left for Poland.

In a sign of unwavering British support, Mr Healey announced that the UK would provide a new package of support to the country, including more artillery guns, a quarter of a million ammunition rounds and nearly 100 precision Brimstone missiles.

The UK’s Defence Secretary also pledged to fast-track military support committed for Ukraine in April to arrive within the next 100 days.

During his visit, which coincided with Ukrainian celebrations of their annual navy day, Mr Healey confirmed that Britain’s steadfast commitment to Ukraine will be reinvigorated by the new government in Westminster.

The new Defence Secretary said just prior to Russia’s latest attack yesterday: “There may have been a change in government, but the UK is united for Ukraine. As the new Defence Secretary, I will ensure that we reinvigorate Britain’s support by stepping up supplies of vital military aid.

“Our commitment to stand with the Ukrainian people is absolute, as is our resolve to confront Russian aggression and pursue Putin for his war crimes.

“This government is steadfast in our commitment to continue supplying military assistance and will stand shoulder to shoulder with our Ukrainian friends for as long as it takes.”

Upon taking office the Defence Secretary has immediately asked for extra support to be provided to Ukraine which was readily available and meets their needs for the battlefield against Russia.

This new package includes:

* A quarter of a million of 50 calibre ammunition
* 90 anti-armour Brimstone missiles
* 50 small military boats to support river and coastal operations
* 40 de-mining vehicles
* 10 AS-90 artillery guns
* 61 bulldozers to help build defensive positions

Support for previously gifted AS-90s, including 32 new barrels and critical spares which will help Ukraine fire another 60,000 155mm rounds.

Mr Healey also directed officials to ensure that the promised package in April of military aid is accelerated and delivered in full to Ukraine within the next 100 days.

The UK announced in April this year the largest ever military aid package to Ukraine, including 400 vehicles, 1600 strike and air defence missiles, including additional Storm Shadow long-range precision guided-missiles, four million rounds of ammunition and 60 boats, including off-shore raiding craft.

Having provided more than £7.6billion of military support since Ukraine unprovoked invasion, the UK will continue to work with allies and partners to provide Ukraine with the equipment and weapons they need to win the war.

The support provided by the UK so far has proved pivotal in supporting Ukraine’s ability to defend itself since the war started, having been the first country to provide modern, Western battle tanks, as well as long-range precision guided missiles.

More than 42,000 Ukrainian soldiers have also returned to fight in Ukraine after completing basic training in the UK since June 2022, under Operation Interflex.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff, said: “The recent milestone of 500,000 Russians killed or wounded is a reminder of how badly this war has gone for Russia. Over the past year, with British help, Ukraine has driven the Russian fleet from Crimea and reopened the Black Sea for exports.

“The battle on land is much tougher, but Ukraine’s future as a sovereign nation is not in doubt.

“A free and democratic Ukraine, full of promise and hope, stands in jarring contrast to Russia’s trajectory of contraction and decline, and an increasingly authoritarian future under Putin.

“By continuing to support Ukraine, and by helping to ensure Russia loses, Britain and Europe will be stronger and safer over the long term.”

Kira Rudik – Member of Ukrainian Parliament, Leader of Golos party

Russia’s massive attack on Ukrainian cities today was absolutely appalling.

More than 40 missiles were sent our way during the daytime, maximizing the number of victims.

Our hearts are breaking after the attack on the largest children’s hospital in Kyiv.

The number of victims is still being calculated with Ukrainian emergency services and thousands of volunteers still trying to clean up the rubble, trying to save people who may be buried inside.

There are no words to describe what we feel right now.

The only message that we have is: world, watch what is happening to us.

Please do not let us die here.

Give us the ability to defend ourselves and protect our people.

Give us the ability to fight back.

We are begging for air defence systems.

We are still begging for them as we did on day one of this war.

And it’s so heartbreaking that even now, we don’t have enough to protect our people and to protect children’s hospitals like this.

We hope that at the NATO summit, the world leaders will not simply read this as another escalation by Russia.

But as a sign that terrorists will not stop unless they are stopped.

And we are here to do that.

But allow us to do that by providing the necessary weapons and defence systems to us.

This is our plea.


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