The War on Children

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Ukraine held a day of mourning on Tuesday and ended rescue operations after Russian missiles struck Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities the previous day, hitting the capital’s main children’s hospital and killing 41 people in the deadliest air strike in recent months, Reuters reported.

At Okhmatdyt hospital, two people were killed, including a doctor, and eight children were wounded, said Interior Minister Igor Klymenko.

The hospital sheltered “Ukraine’s sickest children,” United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Volter Türk said. Missiles destroyed the toxicology ward, where severe kidney issues were treated, the Guardian wrote.

Four other buildings of the children’s facility, one of the largest in Europe, were hit by Russian strikes. On Tuesday, Ukrainian businesses announced donations to rebuild it, which Reuters tallied at $7.3 million.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen people were killed in eastern Ukraine.

Western leaders and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the “particularly shocking” attack, while the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting in response to the strikes.

“Being concerned does not stop terror. Condolences are not a weapon,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on messaging platform Telegram. Zelenskyy renewed his calls for Western military support.

Zelenskyy was due at a NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday where the war in Ukraine is expected to take center stage. Ahead of the meeting, US President Joe Biden said he and other allies would announce “new measures to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses to help protect their cities and civilians from Russian strikes.”

Meanwhile, Russia argued it targeted defense infrastructure and that Okhmatdyt hospital was hit by Ukrainian anti-missile fire, without providing evidence.

Since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moscow has continuously denied targeting civilians, though its attacks have killed thousands of them.

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