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Vladimir Putin’s military has been deliberately targeting children’s hospitals and medical facilities in Ukraine.
According to the latest report released by the Centre for Information Resilience (CIR), Russia’s troops were told to target medical facilities in the city of Kherson.
During the period of Russian control, Kherson’s medical facilities were fortunate to remain mostly undamaged. However, following the city’s liberation, CIR investigators have uncovered evidence suggesting that some of these vital institutions may have been intentionally targeted.
The CIR report covers the period from November 2022 to May 2023 and documents a total of 14 incidents resulting in damage to seven medical facilities throughout Kherson.
Among the affected institutions are maternity wards, cardiology centres, rehabilitation facilities and children’s hospitals, all crucial components of the city’s healthcare system.
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One particularly distressing case involves the Kherson Regional Children’s Hospital, which has experienced two separate attacks since the city’s liberation.
The first occurred on New Year’s Eve, resulting in damage to approximately 700 windows and several rooms. Another incident took place on January 10, 2023, causing additional damage due to shelling.
Kherson, as the first major Ukrainian city to fall to Russian occupying forces, has faced a challenging journey since President Putin declared it part of the Russian Federation on September 30, 2022, following a disputed referendum.
Since the city’s liberation on November 11, 2022, Russian troops have unleashed daily artillery bombardments, aiming to make civilian life in Kherson unsustainable. While there was initial relief at the expulsion of Russian military forces, the situation for residents has grown increasingly dire.
Reports indicate that on New Year’s Eve alone, Kherson and its surroundings experienced at least 40 shelling incidents, targeting civilian buildings and critical infrastructure. This pattern of intensified shelling has persisted, resulting in significant consequences.
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On May 3, 2023, Russian shells struck two supermarkets, a train station, a petrol station and a park, leading to the loss of at least 16 civilian lives.
The escalation in shelling has also impacted other civilian infrastructure, including educational facilities, as previously reported by CIR.
Although Kherson’s City Council reported that most medical facilities remained operational as of January 2023, subsequent attacks from February to April 2023 have raised concerns about the sustainability and functionality of the city’s healthcare services.
Furthermore, CIR’s report underscores a broader trend of damage to civilian infrastructure across Ukraine since the commencement of Russia’s full-scale invasion. This includes incidents affecting medical facilities in various regions, emphasising the need for international attention and intervention.
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