Ukraine hospital attacks kill 2-day-old baby, officials say
Overnight strikes destroyed a Ukrainian maternity hospital on the outskirts of the city of Zaporizhzhia, officials confirmed Wednesday, killing a two-day-old baby.
The mother and doctor, believed to be alone in the hospital, were pulled from the rubble of the maternity ward in the city of Vilniansk, the latest medical facility to be targeted by Russian attacks, according to the governor regional
“At night, Russian monsters launched huge rockets into the small maternity ward of Vilniansk hospital. The pain is overwhelming our hearts: a newborn baby died. Rescuers are working at the site.” said Governor Oleksandr Starukh. he told Telegram.
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Fox News was unable to verify who was officially responsible for the rocket launch that hit the maternity ward, but the attack comes as UK defense officials warned Wednesday that Russian commanders are using drones supplied by the Iran to target medical facilities.
“Russia has used these weapons extensively against tactical military targets and Ukraine’s power grid,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an update. “However, recently Russian commanders likely also wanted Iranian-origin drones to prioritize medical facilities as targets of opportunity and attack them with guided munitions if identified.”
Russia’s attack strategy throughout the war has been based on hitting civilian targets, including maternity and other medical facilities.
The world was first alerted to the strategy during an attack on March 9 when Russian missiles hit a maternity hospital in Mariupol, killing three and injuring dozens. Images emerged showing mothers in labor being carried on stretchers amid piles of rubble and burnt debris.
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The World Health Organization announced in mid-October that Russia had attacked more than 600 medical facilities since February.
Medical officials not only have to deal with the threat of rocket fire, but Russia’s bombing of Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure.
Blackouts across the country have blacked out Ukrainian communities for months, but war-torn areas like Zaporizhzhia and Kherson have forced medical workers to work without running water or electricity.
“The breathing machines are not working, the X-ray machines are not working,” Volodymyr Malishchuk, chief of surgery at a children’s hospital in the city of Kherson, told The Associated Press. “There’s only one portable ultrasound machine and we carry it around all the time.”
Medical officials said they were forced to carry a sedated 13-year-old boy up six flights of stairs to amputate his arm after he was injured during a bombing this week.
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Missile fire has reportedly increased in Kherson since Russia’s withdrawal nearly two weeks ago.
According to Malishchuk, three children injured by the Russian attacks were admitted to the hospital this week alone, a number that is half of the total number of children admitted to Kherson during the nine months of the war.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.