Deadly Russian strikes obliterate Dnipro medical facility in central Ukraine
By Sana Noor Haq, Maria Kostenko, Sebastian Shukla and Joseph Ataman, CNN
(CNN) — At least two people died and dozens more were left injured after Russian forces struck a medical facility in the city of Dnipro on Friday morning, after intense shelling rained over central Ukraine overnight.
A 69-year-old man was killed while “just passing by when the rocket struck the city,” and the body of another man “was pulled out of the rubble,” said Serhii Lysak, head of the regional military administration.
CNN geolocated the attack to Dnipropetrovsk City Hospital No. 14 and a veterinary clinic in an industrial district north of the Dnipro river in the central Ukrainian city. The explosions in Dnipro occurred at around 10:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. ET) on Friday, according to CCTV.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Air Force reported strikes on the Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions from 10 p.m. Thursday night to 5 a.m. on Friday morning.
The Air Force command reported 17 cruise missiles and 31 “attack drones” and noted that there were strikes in Dnipro and Kharkiv regions using S-300/S-400 missile systems.
Kyiv also saw some air attacks across the city, according to Serhii Popko, head of the city’s military administration. He added that there were no casualties.
Around 31 people were wounded in the bombardment in Dnipro, including eight doctors and two children, according to the head of Dnipro’s regional council Mykola Lukashuk. Among the injured, 16 people were taken to hospitals and the others are receiving outpatient treatment, Lukashuk said in a Telegram post.
Rescue operations were ongoing on Friday afternoon, with workers searching for survivors under the rubble. Three people were missing following the attack.
Scenes emerged of fires tearing through one of the buildings of the medical clinic. The video, posted by Lysak, also showed smoke pouring out of windows and a totally collapsed roof.
A CNN team on the ground saw emergency workers standing on cranes and lowering water hoses over the wreckage, while diggers cleared rubble from the scene.
Dnipro Mayor Boris Filatov said that a change of shifts for doctors meant fewer people than usual were working at the facility at the time of the attack.
“The moment the rocket struck there was a change of shifts. Hopefully, there will be no more victims,” Filatov told journalists at the hospital site.
“It is a miracle that the rocket struck at the very moment of the doctors’ change of shifts.” He added that there were outpatient consultations when the attack took place.
The clinic is used to treat mentally ill patients and also houses an inpatient treatment facility, according to the mayor.
The rocket strike also affected a veterinary clinic, where animals undergoing treatment had to be dug out of the rubble, the clinic’s owner said.
“All the employees are in a state of shock,” clinic owner Dr. Andrii Malyshko told Ukrainian TV. “All the animals were saved from the burning building.”
The rocket hit the clinic at around 10:30 a.m. local time, which caused a fire. The clinic had numerous dogs and some cats, which were all transferred to clinics nearby, according to Malyshko.
‘Violation of international humanitarian law’
Kyiv and its Western allies fiercely condemned the Kremlin’s attack on central Ukraine, calling for accountability over the Russian strikes.
France called them “war crimes” that “cannot go unpunished,” according to a statement from the French Foreign Ministry.
The missile and drone attacks on Kyiv and the Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions of Ukraine “once again deliberately targeted civilian sites,” the ministry said, “in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday: “Russian terrorists once again confirm their status of fighters against everything humane and honest.”
“The shelling aftermath is being eliminated and the victims are being rescued. All necessary services are involved,” he added.
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