UN Security Council Holds Emergency Meeting After Attack On Ukraine Children’s Hospital.

Photo: Public domain. Children receive toys at a children's hospital in Ukraine.
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Ukraine declared a day of mourning Tuesday, and the United Nations Security Council was set to hold an emergency meeting, following a barrage of daytime Russian missiles that killed at least 37 people and injured more than 170 others.

The Russians have denied deliberately targeting civilian targets.

Among the targets hit in the multi-city attack was a children’s hospital in Kyiv, part of a daytime series of strikes that Mayor Vitali Klitschko described as one of the largest of the war.

“Russian terrorists must be held accountable for this,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday. “Mere concern does not stop terror. Condolences are not a weapon. We need to shoot down Russian missiles. Russian combat aircraft must be destroyed where they are based. Strong steps must be taken to eliminate any security deficit.”

With NATO leaders opening a summit Tuesday in Washington, Zelenskyy also said the world has the ability to provide Ukraine with what it needs, and that such decisions “are needed as soon as possible.”

U.S. President Joe Biden called the Russian missile strikes “a horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality” and pledged “unshakeable” U.S. support for Ukraine.

“Together with our allies, we will be announcing new measures to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses to help protect their cities and civilians from Russian strikes. The United States stands with the people of Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement late Monday.

Ukraine has repeatedly sought help from its allies to improve its air defenses against daily Russian attacks, and has been pushing for those providing weapons to authorize their use in strikes against military targets inside of Russia.

The Pentagon reiterated in a Monday briefing with reporters that U.S. policy remained that individual countries have the ability to define their own terms, and that the U.S. authorizes its arms to be used in Ukrainian strikes against targets that are striking Ukraine from areas not deep into Russian territory.

“We know that Russia has capabilities that it’s using from deep inside Russia to attack Ukraine. Our focus is on providing Ukraine with the capabilities that it needs to defend itself and defend its sovereignty. So I just don’t have any changes at this point to read out,” Pentagon press secretary Major General Pat Ryder said in response to a question from VOA.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres condemned Monday’s Russian attacks, calling the strikes on the Kyiv hospital and on another medical facility in the capital’s Dniprovsky district “particularly shocking,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“Directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects is prohibited by international humanitarian law, and any such attacks are unacceptable and must end immediately,” Dujarric said.

Russia’s defense ministry said the strikes targeted Ukrainian defense plants and military air bases and were successful. It denied aiming at any civilian facilities and claimed without evidence that pictures from Kyiv indicated the damage was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.

Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday it shot down 38 Ukrainian aerial drones over the Belgorod, Kursk, Voronezh, Rostov and Astrakhan regions.

Vasily Golubev, the regional governor of Rostov, said on Telegram there was a fire at an electrical substation as a result of the attack, which included 21 of the drones being shot down over Rostov.

In Belgorod, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Tuesday on Telegram that Ukrainian attacks had killed four people during the past day.

Source: VOA.

 

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