A two-day-old baby died in a Russian strike on a maternity hospital in Vilnyansk, southeastern Ukraine, on Wednesday, as Moscow stepped up its attacks on civilian infrastructure across the country.
The newborn’s mother and a doctor were pulled from the rubble of the destroyed medical facility in Zaporizhzhia, as nearby private homes were also damaged in the devastating S-300 missile assault.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the bombardment and accused the Kremlin of trying “to sow terror and murder”, while first lady Olena Zelenska called the attack “crazy”.
“The enemy has once again decided to try to achieve through terror and murder what it has not been able to achieve for nine months and will not be able to achieve,” Zelensky said, referring to Russia .
The scenes of Wednesday’s attack mirror those of a catastrophic strike on a maternity and children’s hospital in the southern city of Mariupol in March, part of a wider Russian campaign targeting health facilities across Ukraine.
Ukrainian medical facilities have been hit by a wave of missiles in recent months, with the World Health Organization identifying some 703 attacks on medical compounds across the country since February.
About one in five people in Ukraine have difficulty accessing medicines, said Dr Jarno Habicht, representative of the World Health Organization in Ukraine, said monday. The problem is worse in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, where one in three people cannot get the medicine they need, Habicht added.
It’s a problem that will be exacerbated by heavy snowfall during Ukraine’s harsh winter season, which poses a “tremendous challenge” to the health system, the WHO official warned.
Further north in Kyiv, Russia goes wild a deadly missile on an infrastructure facility after the city’s mayor warned of a harsh winter ahead amid widespread power cuts and falling temperatures.
Wednesday’s attack killed at least three people, including a 17-year-old girl, and injured at least 11 others, local authorities said later suspended water supply in the area after the bombardment.
Ukrenergo, the Ukrainian energy operator, said the strike in Kyiv contributed to power cuts in each region of the country on Wednesday afternoon, as recent Russian strikes targeting critical infrastructure wiped out much of the country’s power supply.
“We also have to prepare for the worst-case scenario,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told German newspaper Bild.
“That would be the case if there were widespread blackouts and temperatures were even colder,” he said in an interview published on Tuesday.
“Parts of the city would then have to be evacuated, but we don’t want to come to that!”
The Kremlin has been accused of deliberately targeting Ukraine’s civilian power grid with the aim of depriving the civilian population of electricity and heating – an act that would amount to a war crime. A senior US State Department official said on Monday that a consistent pattern of Russian attacks on civilian elements in Ukraine was “deeply troubling”.
In a symbolic gesture Echoing Western leaders’ condemnation of the Russian invasion, the European Parliament on Wednesday recognized the country “as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state that uses the means of terrorism”.
The European Parliament called on the European Union “to further isolate Russia internationally” in a non-binding resolution, according to a press release.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the decision.
“Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long-standing terrorist policy in Ukraine and around the world,” he tweeted.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also thanked the European Parliament on Twitter “for its clear position”.
CNN has contacted Russian authorities for comment.
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