Human Rights

UN Human Rights Chief Condemns Devastating Missile Strikes on Ukrainian Civilians and Infrastructure

Volker Türk Calls for Immediate Action and Accountability Following Deadly Attacks on Hospitals and Residential Areas in Kyiv and Other Cities

RESS RELEASE OHCHR (PIC COURTESY © OHCHR )

UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk today condemned the Russian Federation’s devastating missile strikes on densely populated areas of Ukraine, including Kyiv, Kryvi Rih, Pokrovsk, and Dnipro. These attacks not only caused significant civilian casualties but also struck critical infrastructure, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the region. Ukrainian authorities have reported that the strikes resulted in at least 34 deaths and 127 injuries.

In Kyiv, the attacks targeted two major hospitals that serve children and women, severely impacting essential medical services. One of the missiles severely damaged Okhmatdyt, Ukraine’s largest children’s referral hospital, affecting its intensive care, surgical, and oncology wards, and completely destroying its children’s toxicology department. The High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighted the tragic impact, noting that among the victims were some of Ukraine’s sickest children.

Following the attack, Türk’s team visited the site and witnessed children undergoing cancer treatment in makeshift hospital beds set up in parks and streets, where medical workers quickly established triage areas amidst the chaos. The hospital was left without electricity, rendering vital equipment like ventilators unusable. The full extent of casualties from the strike remains unclear.

UN Human Rights staff also observed a significant outpouring of support from local residents who rushed to the scene with blankets, water, and food to aid the patients and staff. However, renewed explosions forced them to leave the site. Additionally, in Kyiv, at least seven civilians were killed at the ISIDA medical centre, one of the largest women’s health and family planning centers in Ukraine, due to secondary effects from an intercepted missile.

Volker Türk strongly condemned these attacks, calling them “abominable” and urging those with influence to take immediate action to stop them. He emphasized the need to protect civilians and adhere to the laws of war, calling for prompt, thorough, and independent investigations into these grave attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, to ensure those responsible are held accountable.

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