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Russia Strikes Children’s Hospital In Deadly Barrage Across Ukraine

A Russian strike ripped into a crowded children’s hospital in the center of Kyiv on Monday, part of a large-scale aerial bombardment that killed at least 20 people in cities across Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that at least 40 long-range missiles had been fired at targets across the country in the deadly barrage, and that people were trapped under the rubble at the children’s hospital. There were also reports of damage in central and eastern Ukraine, raising questions about the state of Ukraine’s air defenses just a day before NATO leaders were due to meet in Washington to discuss how to bolster them.

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In Kyiv, the local authorities said that at least 17 people had been killed and another 41 wounded. It was not clear how many of the casualties were at the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital or at other locations in the city, where fires were reported after debris from missiles that had been shot out of the sky crashed into residential neighborhoods.

The children’s hospital is Ukraine’s largest. Shortly after the strike, a woman carried a small child covered in dust and blood near the entrance.

A desperate search and rescue operation was underway there on Monday afternoon; the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said more than 100 rescuers were on the scene. Outside the hospital, civilians formed a human chain to help clear the rubble brick by brick.

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Doctors and others inside the hospital — which treats 20,000 children annually — shared images of bloodstained hallways, collapsed ceilings and destroyed operating rooms.

Dr. Tymof.ii , a surgeon at the hospital, said he had managed to get his patients into the bomb shelter just before the strike.

“I don’t know about other departments,” he said. “There were surgeons who were performing operations when the missile hit.”

After the explosion, he said, he saw scores of “badly injured” people staggering through the halls.

A two-story medical building situated about 150 yards from the main hospital sustained the most extensive damage, with the structure completely collapsed. The explosion also blasted out the windows of the main hospital and sent shrapnel tearing into the building.

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Mr. Zelensky condemned the attack on the hospital, which he said “has been saving and restoring the health of thousands of children.”

“Russia cannot claim ignorance of where its missiles are flying and must be held fully accountable for all its crimes,” he said in a statement. “It is very important that the world does not remain silent about this now, and that everyone sees what Russia is and what it is doing.”