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UN deplores Russia attack on hospitals for women and children which left over 40 dead

UNITED Nations Human Rights Commission has deplored Russia’s attack on two Ukraine hospitals which have left 41 dead.

Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence made the following comment on the latest attacks in Ukraine, specifically on the children’s hospitals in Kyiv.

“Last night, the UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk described as abominable the deadly blasts at two Kyiv hospitals that treat children and women,” Jeremy Laurence said.

The Russian Federation launched a wave of strikes on densely populated areas of Ukraine, including the cities of Kryvi Rih, Pokrovsk and Dnipro. As well as the hospitals, we have received reports that key energy infrastructure facilities were hit.

Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN photo by Violaine Martin/flickr

The High Commissioner deplored the attacks, and called on those with influence to do everything in their power to ensure these attacks stop immediately.

“Civilians must be protected, and the laws of war strictly adhered to. There must be prompt, thorough and independent investigations into these latest grave attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, and those responsible must be held to account,” Laurence said.

Danielle Bell, head of our Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, joined the briefing from Kyiv.

“I will begin with the attack on Okhmatdyt children’s hospital because this is one of the most egregious attacks that we’ve seen since the onset of the full-scale invasion,” she said.

“Okhmatdyt is a children’s specialist hospital where families from across the country bring their children for treatment of serious medical conditions such as cancer and kidney disease. My team spent most of yesterday at the incident site yesterday,speaking with medical staff, parents of children and residents that live in the area surrounding the hospital,” Bell said.

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“Analysis of the video footage and assessment made at the incident site indicates a high likelihood that the children’s hospital suffered a direct hit rather than receiving damages due to an intercepted weapons system. Of course, as was said earlier, this must be investigated. At the time of the attack, 670 child patients, mainly inpatients, were there together with more than a thousand medical staff,” she said.

“The attack also damaged the intensive care, surgical and oncology wards. And 600 children had been transferred to other hospitals in Kyiv city and areas in Kyiv province. This terrible attack shows that nowhere is safe in Ukraine. Yesterday’s massive attack across the country involved at least 38 different cruise missiles and ballistic rockets of various types, as well as drones in multiple waves throughout the day,” she said.

Asked for more details on it being a possible direct hit, Bell said: “We haven’t determined. We’ve assessed the factors that suggest the likelihood that it was a direct hit of a KH-101 missile launched by the Russian Federation. The factors suggesting that it was a direct hit are based on video footage, which shows the technical specification of the type of weapon that was used. It shows the weapon directly impacting the hospital rather than being intercepted in the air. And thirdly, my military, our military expert, visited the site yesterday and observed damages at the site that were consistent with a direct hit,” said Bell.

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“It can take many years, as we’ve seen in other contexts. So what’s absolutely crucial is that we keep attention on the situation in Ukraine, on the terrible attacks that are taking place across the country every day. And we will continue from our side the meticulous documentation that we are doing on the ground every day to ensure that accountability one day will be a reality,” Bell added.

By The African Mirror