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A children's hospital in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, sustained serious damage from Russian strikes, resulting in the deaths of 31 people across the country in an early morning barrage.

In Kyiv, at least 17 people lost their lives due to the rare daytime attack, including two fatalities at the Ohmatdyt Children's Hospital, Ukraine's largest pediatric facility, which was heavily damaged in the explosion.

The head of the military administration in Kryvyi Rih, a central Ukrainian city, reported at least 10 deaths there. Additionally, three people were killed in the eastern town of Pokrovsk, and one person died in Dnipro.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was in Poland signing a security pact, promised retaliation. He detailed the attacks in various cities on social media: "Different cities: Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk. More than 40 missiles of various types. Residential buildings, infrastructure, and a children's hospital were damaged."

Dr. Lesia Lysytsia, a physician at Ohmatdyt Children's Hospital, described the missile strike to the BBC as resembling a scene from a film, with a "big light, then an awful sound." She reported that one part of the hospital was destroyed, and another part was set on fire, estimating that 60-70% of the hospital was damaged. Images showed young children, some with IV drips, sitting outside as the hospital was evacuated.

Ohmatdyt is a large hospital that provides numerous services, including cancer treatment and organ transplants. Dr. Lysytsia mentioned that they were in the process of evacuating patients to the nearest hospital, although many patients on ventilators could not be moved easily.

Hospital officials informed Ukrainian TV that approximately 20 children were being treated in the ward that was hit. Another explosion struck the nearby area hours later, prompting hundreds to seek shelter in an underpass. President Zelensky reported that people were trapped under the hospital's rubble and that everyone, including doctors and civilians, was helping to clear the debris.

Kyiv's mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, described the bombardment as one of the worst attacks on the capital since the war began. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine also reported that debris partially destroyed a separate maternity unit in Kyiv, resulting in four deaths and three injuries.

In a show of solidarity, Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina will wear a black ribbon during her Wimbledon match to honor the victims, according to the Women's Tennis Association.

Elsewhere, Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of Kryvyi Rih's military administration, reported at least 10 deaths and 31 injuries in his city, with 10 of those injuries being severe. Kryvyi Rih, President Zelensky's hometown, has faced repeated attacks since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022. In Dnipro, regional head Sergiy Lysak reported one death and six injuries following the attack on a high-rise building and a business.

In Pokrovsk, three people were killed as Russian forces continued their advances in the eastern Donetsk region, having captured several villages in recent weeks.

These attacks coincided with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Moscow, where he is scheduled to meet President Vladimir Putin. Despite Russia's denial of targeting civilian infrastructure, claiming the strikes were aimed at military facilities, Ukraine's Defence Minister Rustem Umerov called for stronger air defenses from allies, emphasizing the country's inadequate defense capabilities.

The UN's human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine has reported increasing civilian casualties due to Russia's renewed air campaign, noting that May was the deadliest month for civilian deaths in nearly a year. Photo by Martofliak, Wikimedia commons.