Russia shifts blame for children's hospital attack, citing missile depot

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russians immediately began propaganda efforts.

by Sead Dedovic
Russia shifts blame for children's hospital attack, citing missile depot
© Paula Bronstein /Getty Images News

After yesterday's attack on a children's hospital in Ukraine, panic and fear have gripped the Ukrainian population. There was fear of further attacks and concerns about casualties under the rubble and after the bombing. The Russians did not immediately provide an explanation regarding this attack, but several hours later, they responded, stating that Ukrainians were using part or all of the hospital to treat wounded Ukrainian soldiers, and highlighting that Ukrainians were storing projectiles there. 

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russians immediately began propaganda efforts, presenting various theories about what happened, including at one point suggesting it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense projectile.

"Some military bloggers have even posted deceptive posts falsely claiming that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, not the Russian Ch-101 offensive missile. The trajectory of the missile in the video and the visible jet engine under its fuselage are consistent with the Russian Ch-101 missile and do not support the claim that it was an anti-aircraft missile. It also does not appear that the missile was damaged as an anti-aircraft missile," wrote ISW, as translated by Klix.

The institute has decided to dispel all rumors and theories, confirming that the serial numbers of the missile parts match the serial numbers of other Russian Ch-101 missiles fired at Ukraine. Ochmatdyt is the largest children's hospital in Ukraine, and many were shocked that the Russians indeed chose to take such actions. It appears that principles and ethics do not exist in this war, much like in many historical conflicts. 

Although some expected Russians to respect the Geneva Convention and the rights of soldiers and civilians, such actions proved otherwise. According to the Geneva Convention, a civilian hospital should not be a target unless used for activities harmful to the enemy. Despite existing for years, the Geneva Convention has not been respected by all parties. In many past wars, there has been little readiness to adhere to the Geneva Convention, but there is a court for non-compliance with this convention and individuals who will act as necessary.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacts

The children's hospital has suffered immense damage, and it will take a long time to address the issues regarding the damage and to fully restore the hospital's functionality. Rocket attacks on Ukraine have resulted in the deaths of as many as thirty-seven people. Additionally, a large number of people have been wounded. Russian attacks show no signs of stopping, raising questions about whether they will cease in the near future at all. Russian forces aim to instill fear among the population, continue with the same policies, and perpetuate terror.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, is shocked by the recent events, considering them acts of terror. The Ukrainian President aims to send a response to the enemy and demonstrate readiness to put an end to terror and attacks. He believes that it is crucial to shoot down Russian missiles, which he sees as the first step towards achieving this goal.

“Mere concern does not stop the terror. Compassion is not a weapon. It is necessary to shoot down Russian missiles. It is necessary to destroy Russian combat aircraft where they are based. It is necessary to take strong steps that will not leave any security deficit.”- Zelenskyy said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy© Drew Angerer/Getty Images News

The Ukrainian president stresses that the entire world can see the actions Putin decides upon by targeting a children's hospital. Many consider this the last thing an honorable soldier should do. Nonetheless, Russians are deepening the crisis and creating more enemies with each passing day. 

The anger provoked by such actions is palpable in the statements of numerous leaders frustrated by the Russian side's actions. Zelenskyy characterizes Putin's army as killers, emphasizing that through collective strength and cooperation with allies, it is possible to establish peace and security in Ukraine.

“The whole world must use all its determination to finally put an end to the Russian strikes,” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram. 

“Murders are what Putin brings. Only together can we bring true peace and security.”

One of the first to react was also US President Joe Biden, who believes that such attacks are a reminder of Russia's brutality. Biden also confirmed that new measures will be established to strengthen Ukraine's air defense. Zelenskyy has been emphasizing for months that air defense must be a priority in this war. It seems that only now are world leaders understanding what the Ukrainian leader has been talking about for months. 

Jens Stoltenberg also confirmed that the next summit could discuss the issues and come to a resolution. Ukraine can be happy to have such partners, considering that it is their guarantee for the defense of this country.