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Zaporizhzhia maternity ward strike: Newborn baby killed in Russian attack on Ukrainian hospital



CNN

A two-day-old baby died in one Russian strike at a maternity hospital in Vilnyansk in southeastern Ukraine on Wednesday as Moscow ramped up attacks on civilian infrastructure across the country.

The newborn child’s mother and a doctor were pulled from the rubble of the destroyed medical facility in Zaporizhzhia as nearby private homes were also damaged in the devastating S-300 missile strike.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the shooting and accused the Kremlin of trying to “bring about terror and murder”, while first lady Olena Zelenska called the attack “insane”.

“The enemy has decided once again to try to achieve with terror and murder what it has not been able to achieve for nine months and will not be able to achieve,” Zelensky said, referring to Russia.

The scenes of Wednesday’s attack echoed those of a catastrophic strike at a maternity and children’s hospital in the southern city of Mariupol in March, as part of the wider Russian campaign targeting healthcare facilities across Ukraine.

Ukrainian medical facilities have been hit by a spate of missiles in recent months, with the World Health Organization identifying some 703 attacks on medical complexes across the country since February.

About one in five people in Ukraine have difficulty accessing medicines, Dr. Jarno Habicht, the World Health Organization representative in Ukraine, said Monday. The problem is worse in Russia-occupied Ukrainian regions, where one in three people there cannot get the medicines they need, Habicht added.

It is a problem that will be exacerbated by heavy snowfall during Ukraine’s harsh winter season, posing a “fortunate challenge” to the health system, the WHO official warned.

Zelensky said Moscow wanted to instigate

Further north, in Kiev, Russia unleashed a deadly missile on an infrastructure facility after the city’s mayor warned of a harsh winter ahead amid widespread power outages and plummeting temperatures.

Wednesday’s attack killed at least three people, including a 17-year-old girl, and injured at least 11 others, local authorities later reported. suspended water supply in the region after the shelling.

Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s state energy company, said the strike in Kiev contributed to power outages in every region of the country on Wednesday afternoon, as recent Russian attacks on critical infrastructure wiped out much of the country’s power supply.

“We also have to prepare for the worst case scenario,” Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko told German newspaper Bild.

“That would be if there were widespread power outages and temperatures were even colder,” he said in an interview published Tuesday.

“Then parts of the city would have to be evacuated, but we don’t want to go that far!”

The Kremlin has been attacking critical energy facilities across Ukraine in recent weeks.

The Kremlin is accused of deliberately attacking Ukraine’s civilian power grid in an attempt to leave the civilian population without electricity and heat – an act that would amount to a war crime. A senior US State Department official said Monday that a consistent pattern of Russian attacks on civilian elements in Ukraine is “deeply troubling.”

In a symbolic move echoing condemnation of the Russian invasion by Western leaders, the European Parliament on Wednesday recognized the country “as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state that uses resources for terrorism”.

The EU parliament called on the European Union to “further isolate Russia internationally” in a non-binding resolution, according to a press release.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the decision.

“Russia must be isolated and held accountable at all levels to end its longstanding policy of terrorism in Ukraine and around the world,” he tweeted.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also thanked the European Parliament “for the clear position” on Twitter.

CNN has contacted Russian authorities for comment.

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