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Consequences of the strike on "Ohmatdyt": Two Dead, 16 injured, over twenty departments and a unique laboratory destroyed

July 8 marked another dark day in the history of modern Ukraine. An X-101 missile fired by a Russian aircraft struck "Ohmatdyt," the largest and oldest children's hospital in Ukraine and one of the largest in Europe.

The explosion killed two people and injured 16, including 10 children whose lives were being saved.

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On the day of the missile strike, people gathered at the gates and on the hospital grounds. Hundreds of people. From time to time, ambulances with sirens blaring would leave the gates. Fire trucks and emergency service vehicles were also present. The air was filled with dust and smelled of some chemical, likely the remnants of rocket fuel. A girl in a medical gown hurriedly handed out masks, saying, "Put these on, it's necessary."

One of the buildings of the children's hospital "Okhmatdyt" after the Russian missile strike. July 8, 2024, Kyiv. Photo by the author.
One of the buildings of the children's hospital "Okhmatdyt" after the Russian missile strike. July 8, 2024, Kyiv. Photo by the author.

A large crowd gathered near a two-story building. The ruined structure was smoking, with a pile of bricks where one building used to be, a huge piece of roofing, and stairs that led nowhere. Black smoke billowed from the gaping hole like from a volcano's crater.

One of the buildings of the children's hospital "Ohmatdyt" after the Russian missile strike. July 8, 2024, Kyiv. Photo by the author.
One of the buildings of the children's hospital "Ohmatdyt" after the Russian missile strike. July 8, 2024, Kyiv. Photo by the author.

Military personnel, civilians, National Guardsmen, and emergency service workers formed chains, passing bricks, pieces of wood, and debris hand to hand. The sound of bricks clattering, metal scraping, and soft commands filled the air.

Residents of Kyiv helped clear the debris at the ruins of one of the "Ohmatdyt" buildings. July 8, 2024, Kyiv. Photo by the author.
Residents of Kyiv helped clear the debris at the ruins of one of the "Ohmatdyt" buildings. July 8, 2024, Kyiv. Photo by the author.
Photo by the author
Photo by the author
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Nearby, another chain of people held a fire hose above their heads. Periodically, someone would shout, "Pressure!" and the hose would tense as firefighters doused the flames inside.

Kyiv residents who came to help clear the debris hold a fire hose above their heads. Kyiv, July 8, 2024. Photo by the author.
Kyiv residents who came to help clear the debris hold a fire hose above their heads. Kyiv, July 8, 2024. Photo by the author.

From time to time, someone would yell, "Quiet!!!" to listen for any signs of life under the rubble.

A dog handler with a dog passed by. When asked, "How is it?" he just waved his hand.

A dog handler with a dog arrived to search for people under the rubble of the children's hospital after the Russian missile strike in Kyiv. July 8, 2024. Photo by the author.
A dog handler with a dog arrived to search for people under the rubble of the children's hospital after the Russian missile strike in Kyiv. July 8, 2024. Photo by the author.

Fortunately, doctors familiar with safety protocols managed to save children from direct hits, but many were still injured by flying glass shards. They were carried out in arms, with bandaged heads and hands, and some had IV needles in their tiny arms.

Photo by the author
Photo by the author

Next to the hospital were shattered buildings with no intact windows and damaged facades.

Photo by the author
Photo by the author
In the neighboring hospital building, all the windows were shattered. Photo by the author.
In the neighboring hospital building, all the windows were shattered. Photo by the author.

As it became known later, all communications in the building were destroyed, leaving the hospital without electricity or water.

The toxicology department was destroyed, five oncology departments, ten surgical departments, two somatic departments, the intensive care unit, two ICUs, operating blocks, and the radiation and radiotherapy department were damaged. Three other buildings were also damaged.

Photo by the author
Photo by the author

The Russian army destroyed the only oncological hematology laboratory in the country.

The flow of people at the main gate to the hospital did not stop. People brought water, respirators, bags, and food. Packs of water were quickly taken – the smoke stung the eyes and dried the throat instantly.

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Photo by the author
Photo by the author

Beds, medicines, and other items were being carried out of the buildings, while some people began cleaning up the glass.

The alarm sounded again. A soldier mentioned that a reconnaissance drone was flying over Kyiv. "They will strike again; these aren't humans – they'll hit the rescuers."

Commands of "Civilians – to shelter!" were reluctantly followed.

An explosion was heard in the air – our air defense was working.

Photo by the author
Photo by the author

An officer of the emergency service, with soot on his face and a dirty bandage on his hand, stared ahead and slowly said:

"I don't understand. I don't understand what kind of person you have to be to strike hospitals and children. Though – I understand... You have to be a new breed of creatures – Russians. They have nothing sacred. This is not the first time they hit residential areas and energy facilities. I've worked in different cities and seen many aftermaths of their strikes. Everywhere it's the same – strikes on people, on civilians."

Photo by the author
Photo by the author

A doctor from the emergency surgery and transplant department, Dariіa Degtyaryova, nervously smoked. Her glassy eyes were fixed on the ruined building.

"I was at work during the air raid. As soon as the siren sounded, we took the young patients to shelter. The most severely ill, who were on dialysis, under IVs, or unable to move, stayed in the corridors away from windows and doors.

Photo by the author
Photo by the author

"When the missile hit, I was with a sick child for an ultrasound. We fell first, then the ceiling fell on us. Then came the explosion sound. We moved the children with us to a safe place and ran to our department. We know our colleague doctor died. The head of the department was taken away with severe injuries."

ohmatdyt russo-ukrainian war missiles war crimes eng rocket attack kyiv

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