26 Ukrainian health centers attacked by Russia, WHO says

by Sharon O. Isalaah

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday verified that Russian forces have attacked 26 health care centers in Ukraine between Feb. 24, when the invasion began, and Wednesday.

The 26 health care facilities include the children’s hospital/maternity ward that Russian forces attacked Wednesday in Mariupol, leaving three dead and 17 injured.

“In total, 12 people died and 34 have been injured,” WHO said in a tweet. “More incidents are being verified. WHO strongly condemns these attacks.”

An eastern Ukrainian official claimed Friday that a Russian missile has struck a care facility for disabled people, according to the AFP. The official added there were 330 people inside the building near Oskil at the time of the attack and at least 63 of those people have been evacuated since, The Trumpet gathered.

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“Luckily, there are no victims,” the news agency quoted local emergency services as saying. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 1,546 civilian casualties in Ukraine since Feb. 24, including
564 civilians killed and 982 injured. Among the deceased are 41 children, though Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights Verkhovna Rada said Thursday that 71 children have been killed and more than 100 have been injured.

More than 2.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that he has had a “substantive conversation” with President Biden in which he “informed [the president] about the crimes of Russia against the civilian population.”

“We agreed on further steps to support the defense of Ukraine and increase sanctions against Russia,” Zelenskyy added. Biden said Friday that the U.S. knows “Putin’s war against Ukraine will never be a victory” and that the Russian leader is racking up failures as the invasion continues.

“He hoped to dominate Ukraine without a fight – he failed. He hoped to fracture European resolve – he failed,” Biden told reporters. “He hoped to weaken the transatlantic alliance – he failed. He hoped to split apart American democracies in terms of our positions – he failed.”

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