More than 20 killed in Russian strikes on Ukrainian cities, children’s hospital attacked in Kyiv

By Svitlana Vlasova, Daria Tarasova-Markina, Maria Kostenko, Victoria Butenko and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

Kyiv, Ukraine CNN  — 

A barrage of Russian missile strikes hit targets in cities across Ukraine on Monday, including a children’s hospital in Kyiv, killing at least 22 people and injuring 68 more, officials said.

Ukrainian officials said the rare daytime aerial assault had struck Ukrainian cities during rush hour, including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.

According to Ukraine’s general prosecutor, nine people had been killed in the capital, while 23 others had been injured. In Kryvyi Rih, 10 people had died and 37 more were hurt, according to local officials. Meanwhile, in the Donetsk region, at least three people had been killed, the head of Donetsk regional military administration Vadym Filashkin said.

Among the buildings hit was Kyiv’s Okhmatdyt hospital, Ukraine’s largest children’s medical center, which has been crucial in supporting some the sickest children from across the country. Every year, around 7,000 surgeries – including treatments for cancer and hematological diseases – are conducted at the hospital, according to Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets.

Videos from the scene showed volunteers working with police and security services to sift through the rubble as smoke billowed from the hospital, as staff described how they tried to rush children to safety in the wake of the attack. Ukraine’s health minister Viktor Liashko said intensive care units, oncology departments and surgery units had been damaged.

“The key task here is to get people out of the rubble and provide assistance to those we can reach, as we have already taken out all the first ones,” he said in a Telegram post.

Doctors as well as bystanders in the nearby vicinity immediately move towards the rubble to help clear debris following the strike.

Natalia Sardudinova, a senior nurse, described the moment the strike hit the hospital saying that “it was scary, but we survived.”

“It was loud, the windows were crunching,” she told CNN. “As soon as the alarm sounded, the children were taken out into the corridor.”

She said two children had been in the operating theaters at the time of the blast, and both were relocated to the basement shelter once their procedures were completed.

“Everything was in smoke, there was no air to breathe. The doctor was cut by shrapnel. The windows and doors were blown out. One nurse in the hospital was heavily injured,” Sardudinova added. “My hands are still shaking. They don’t let anyone in now, they are afraid it will collapse.”

Yulia Vasylenko, the mother of an 11-year-old cancer patient at the hospital, said her son Denys was evacuated outside following the strike.

“My son is on painkillers. He has cancer. He has been without medication for half a day. He was brought down the stairs from the third floor. There was smoke (and) heavy dust,” she said.

Medical staff and members of the community quickly formed lines to move rubble away from damaged areas at the hospital and search for survivors.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy said in a post on X that the exact number of casualties at the hospital was not yet known and that “there are people under the rubble” but that everyone from doctors to local residents are helping clear debris in the strike’s aftermath.

“Apartment buildings, infrastructure, and a children’s hospital have been damaged. All services are engaged to rescue as many people as possible,” Zelensky wrote in a post on X.

He also said that around 40 missiles of various types had been launched against Ukraine.

“The entire world must use all its determination to finally put an end to the Russian strikes. Killing is what Putin brings. Only together can we bring real peace and security,” he added.

Air raid sirens continued to ring out over Kyiv in the aftermath, with CNN video showing people who had been evacuated outside the hospital pushing children on stretchers to safety in shelters.

Several European nations denounced the attacks with France calling it “barbaric” while the United Kingdom’s new prime minister Keir Starmer said attacking innocent children was “the most depraved of actions.”

The French foreign ministry said in a statement that the strikes were “barbaric acts, aimed directly and deliberately at a children’s hospital, should be added to the list of war crimes for which Russia will be held to account.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Stephanie Halasz contributed to this report.

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