Russian missile kills newborn in repeated attack on small town


VILNIANSK, Ukraine (TUSEN) — A Russian missile hit the maternity ward of a hospital in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, killing a newborn boy and seriously injuring a doctor. The overnight explosion left the small town hospital a crumbling mess of bricks, scattering medical supplies across the small site.

It was the second deadly attack on the small town of Vilniansk in a week, and Mayor Nataliya Usienko said she feared it wouldn’t be the last.

“The attack started and the first S300 rocket hit the road. The second missile hit this place, the main general hospital, in the maternity ward where people were,” she said. “Two days ago a woman gave birth. She gave birth to a boy. Unfortunately, this rocket took the life of this child who lived only two days.”

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Six days ago, she said, 11 people died when a Russian missile hit an apartment building.

“It’s very dangerous to be here,” Usienko said. “It is 90% sure that there will be another hit.”

City workers worked well past sunset to prop up walls that were in danger of falling, relying on generators for light and to run their power tools.

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Nataliya Pullman, a resident who walked past the devastated hospital, said she was beyond angry.

“I have no words, I have no feelings. I don’t know what a normal person should feel. I feel pain for the victims,” she said.

Kyrilo, the boy who died in the rocket attack, and his mother were said to have been fired on Wednesday, Usienko said.

The International Rescue Committee’s vice president for emergencies, Bob Kitchen, lamented the attack.

“The tragic images of rescuers working at the site of a maternity ward that we saw this morning illustrate that women and children continue to pay the highest price for this war,” Kitchen said. “No child should be born under a barrage of rocket attacks. No child should die buried in the rubble left over from hospitals, where their mothers seek safety and protection.”

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Russia has repeatedly attacked hospitals since the war began on February 24, including a deadly March airstrike on a maternity ward in the city of Mariupol that killed a woman and her unborn child.


Edith M. Lederer contributed from the United Nations.


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