Ukraine mourns as rescuers clear rubble from children’s hospital

Ukraine mourns as rescuers clear rubble from children’s hospital

Kyiv: Rescue workers were clearing debris and Ukraine was in mourning Tuesday, the day after deadly Russian strikes tore open a children’s hospital and sparked international condemnation.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said 38 people across Ukraine were killed – including four children – and 190 wounded in the wave of nearly 40 missiles that targeted several towns and cities.

Officials announced a day of mourning in the capital with flags to be hung at half mast and entertainment events postponed, as cranes and first responders were working at the scene of the Okhmatdyt paediatric hospital.

“The rescue operation after yesterday’s Russian missile attack continues,” Zelensky wrote on social media, adding that patients from Okhmatdyt had been transferred to other facilities.

“We continue our work to increase the protection of our cities and communities from Russian terror. There will be decisions. The world has the necessary strength for this,” Zelensky added.

He has been urging allies to bolster Ukrainian air defence systems and was expected to renew those calls as a NATO summit kicked off later Tuesday in Washington.

The Ukrainian president also called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on the strikes that claimed some 10 lives in his hometown of Kryvyi Rig.

Zelensky said some 400 rescuers had responded to the strikes but hundreds of volunteers gathered at the Okhmatdyt complex on Monday to help clear rubble and search for survivors.

City officials told AFP on Tuesday that two people had been killed at the hospital – a doctor and a visitor, but that there could still be victims trapped under the rubble.

Ukraine said a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile had smashed into the renowned children’s hospital but Moscow blamed Ukrainian air defence systems. The Kremlin on Tuesday repeated its claims that Russian forces only target military infrastructure and deferred further questions to the defence ministry.

Russian attacks on Ukraine persisted overnight with two people wounded in the southern Kherson region and another three hurt in the Zaporizhzhia region, two regions the Kremlin claim are part of Russia.

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