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The largest missile attack on Kyiv in 2024 strikes a children's hospital — photos, footage, and expert analysis

On July 8, Russian forces launched a massive attack, striking Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities with dozens of missiles. The latest data confirms a casualty toll of 27 killed and more than 60 injured in Kyiv alone. Nationwide, the strikes took the lives of 36 Ukrainians and injured over 140.

One of the missiles hit the Ohmatdyt children's hospital in Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyi District, severely damaging one of the hospital buildings. According to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the Russian military struck the children's hospital with a Kh-101 cruise missile. As evidence, the agency cites the discovery of missile fragments, recovered at the impact site, showing its serial number. The SBU has qualified the strike as a war crime and has opened criminal proceedings. According to the latest reports, the strike on the children's hospital killed two adults, one of whom was a doctor — 30-year-old pediatric nephrologist Svetlana Lukyanchuk. The hospital has reported 16 victims, seven of whom are minors.

Videos have surfaced online confirming the Russian missile strike on the largest children's hospital in Kyiv. In particular, UNITED24 Media published footage of the missile attack along with analysis.

As Ukrainian Telegram channels note, eyewitness footage suggests that the missile had not been shot down by air defense but instead followed a predetermined trajectory.

Ukrainian military expert Leonid Dmitriev confirmed this conclusion to The Insider:

“You can see that the missile's movement is being controlled; there are no signs of damage or additional trace of fuel line burning, altitude rudder jamming, or anything like that. The missile follows a path towards predetermined coordinates. A few dozen or a hundred meters from the hospital building hit by the missile, there is the building of the Ministry of Infrastructure, and half a kilometer south of the impact site, there is the building of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, but neither was affected. We can say with a high degree of certainty that this was a targeted strike on the clinic,” Dmitriev says.

Dr. Valery Bovkun, head of the plastic and reconstructive microsurgery department at the hospital, told The Insider that two doctors were injured while attempting to use their bodies to shield a child on the operating table. At the time of the explosion, Bovkun’s unit held about 25 patients, along with their parents and 15 staff members.

“Only three staff members in the unit were injured in the explosion, sustaining minor wounds from glass fragments. Another two staff members were injured in the operating room: the surgery was just underway, so they shielded the child with their bodies. They also have minor injuries from shards of glass. We have discharged our patients because we can no longer perform surgeries or dressings, and they cannot even stay here as doors and windows have been damaged. We will spare no efforts to resume the work of the department as quickly as possible because some children have conditions that cannot wait, such as congenital defects, where rapid treatment is necessary, and damage to tendons and nerves. There are also injured children who need help.”

Debris from another missile in Kyiv hit the Izida Medical Center on the left bank of the Dnipro River. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported four dead and three injured from that attack. One of Kyiv's first reproductive health clinics, the Izida Medical Center has a maternity ward and a pregnancy support center that offers IVF programs. According to military expert Dmitriev, there is nothing “even theoretically related to the army or infrastructure” near this center.

“It's a purely residential area across the street from the International Exhibition Center. This is easy to verify: photos of the damage to the medical center have already been published and are widely available online,” Dmitriev explained.

According to Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs, Shevchenkivskyi District had the highest death toll. The strike caused a fire in the district that affected an area of 1,500 square meters before being extinguished. Kyiv City Military Administration head Serhiy Popko reported that the capital’s Solomianskyi, Dniprovskyi, and Goloseevskyi districts had also been affected by the Russian attack. The UNIAN news agency, citing the Kyiv Regional Administration, reported that a fire had been caused in a high-rise building in the Solomainskyi district.

In addition to the damage in Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities reported explosions near the village of Aviatorske, the location of Dnipro International Airport. In Kryvyi Rih, Russian missiles killed at least 10 people.

The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed responsibility for the missile strikes on Ukraine but insists that it hit only defense industry facilities and AFU air bases.

“The mission was completed successfully. The designated targets have been hit,” the Russian ministry stated.

According to Russian officials, numerous photos and footage of damaged civilian objects and injured civilians “unequivocally confirm that the destruction was caused by the crash of a Ukrainian air defense missile launched from an anti-aircraft missile system within the city.” However, The Insider is not aware of any footage confirming the Russian Defense Ministry's version of the events.

As military expert David Sharp pointed out to The Insider, striking civilian targets is not an advantageous tactic for Russia at the moment. However, the expert believes that the July 8 strikes may be interpreted as Russia's attempt to exert psychological pressure on Ukraine and the EU in the run-up to the upcoming NATO summit, which will take place in Washington, DC, on Jul. 10-11

“If the Russian command thought that hitting the hospital had its benefits, they would have done it. They have no moral constraints, but as I see it, a deliberate strike such as this one is not favorable because it causes great damage to Russia's already tainted reputation. In addition, such strikes encourage Ukraine's partners to increase their assistance. I assume [Russia] was targeting something else, but due to faulty, low-accuracy systems and the human factor, they missed.
“Today's strike can be linked to the upcoming NATO summit. Russia has attempted to compel Kyiv to accept peace (on Moscow's terms), exert psychological pressure, and send a signal to the West — but achieved the opposite effect. The strike on Ohmatdyt inspires Ukrainians to treat revenge against Russia and Russians as a lifelong endeavor. [Russia's] general motivation is to exert pressure on Ukraine, cause economic damage, and create unbearable living conditions.”

The Insider has released a video report covering the aftermath of the most notorious strike in what was the largest missile attack on the Ukrainian capital in 2024.

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