Russian bomb damages hospital, prompts evacuation in northeastern Ukraine -officials

(Reuters) -A Russian bomb struck a hospital in northeastern Ukraine on Wednesday, smashing windows and equipment and prompting the evacuation of dozens of patients, regional officials said.

Volodymyr Tymoshko, head of the Kharkiv regional branch of the national police, said one bomb scored a direct hit on the hospital at about 9:45 p.m. in the town of Velykyi Burluk, northeast of Kharkiv. A second bomb landed nearby.

Writing on Facebook, he said 38 people were evacuated from the facility, all but five of them patients and two confined to hospital beds.

Regional Governor Oleh Synehubov, writing on Telegram, said emergency teams conducted cleanup operations well into the night and four people were treated for slight injuries at the site.

Synehubov said quick action by hospital staff in response to air raid alerts ensured a smooth evacuation. Patients were sent to other facilities or switched to outpatient treatment.

Photos posted by Ukrainian Emergency Services on Telegram showed virtually all the hospital's windows shattered. Smashed building materials littered the street outside.

Rooms were shown with damaged equipment and rubble strewn about.

There was no independent verification of the incident, but there have been frequent Russian attacks on targets in the Kharkiv region in recent weeks.

Russia's defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Russia denies targeting civilian facilities, though medical and educational facilities have been hit in the war, now more than 23 months old.

The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, said on Telegram that Russian drones had hit an infrastructure target in the city. There was no immediate word on casualties.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Oleksandr Kozhukhar; Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)