Newborn killed in missile strike on Ukrainian maternity ward

(KYIV, Ukraine) — A newborn baby was killed in an attack on a hospital in the town of Vilniansk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine, overnight Tuesday, the local mayor told ABC News.

The attack on the maternity hospital came before a wave of Russian strikes across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, which struck residential areas and infrastructure. The strikes have led to significant power outages, including in neighboring Moldova, as Russia continues to strike Ukraine’s power grid ahead of what experts warn will be a punishing winter.

The baby boy, named Kyrylo Kamyanskyi, was born two days ago. His mother, Maria, survived the attack.

“She is shocked and asked to take her home,” Natalia Musienko, the mayor of the city told ABC.

“It’s a horrible attack,” she said, while taking shelter from Russian missiles.

“Our hearts are overwhelmed with grief,” Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of the Zaporizhzhia region posted on his Telegram channel.

According to the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional administration, Oleg Buriak, the Russian forces launched S-300 missiles around 2 a.m. local time. Two of those missiles hit the maternity ward at the Vilniansk hospital and a nearby clinic.

Both facilities have been completely destroyed, officials said. At the time of the attack, five people were in the buildings. According to the mayor, one doctor, pulled from the rubble, suffered burns but is in stable condition. Two other doctors trapped in the building were later rescued, and about 60 other hospital staffers were evacuated. In total, three people have been killed, and six people injured.

“We are now trying to save some of the expensive equipment from the maternity ward,” Musienko said. “But, of course, the biggest loss is the death of a baby. Human lives are the most precious. we can’t return them.”

The attack on the hospital came just a week after a deadly Russian strike on a residential building in Vilniansk that killed 11 people, including children.

This week, Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, told an audience in Kyiv that his organization had so far verified 703 attacks on health centers since the war — attacks that are in breach of international law.

“Continued attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean hundreds of hospitals and health care facilities are no longer fully operational – lacking fuel, water and electricity to meet basic needs,” he said.

And on Wednesday, the European Parliament voted to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism in response to its “brutal war of aggression in Ukraine.”

The EU cannot officially designate states as sponsors of terrorism, but the resolution calls for the bloc to adopt a legal framework to formally designate Russia, which would restrict diplomatic relations.

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