Videos show what hit a Ukrainian children's hospital, and Russia is 'gaslighting,' war and weapons experts say

Videos show what hit a Ukrainian children's hospital, and Russia is 'gaslighting,' war and weapons experts say
  • A missile struck a children's hospital. Ukraine says it was a Russian strike, but Moscow denies it.

  • War experts dispute Russian claims it was a Ukrainian surface-to-air missile, arguing it was a Russian cruise missile.

  • Visual evidence and expert analysis contradict Russian statements on the missile attack, which killed at least 36.

War and weapons experts are disputing the Russian Ministry of Defense's claims that it did not strike a children's hospital in Kyiv on Monday, an attack that has stirred outrage in Ukraine and internationally.

The Security Service of Ukraine identified the missile that struck the medical facility as a Russian Kh-101 air-launched cruise missile. The hospital was struck amid a large barrage.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in response to the attack that "we must hold Russia accountable for its acts of terror and Putin for ordering the strikes."

The Kremlin was quick to argue it was not to blame for this. "Statements by representatives of the Kyiv regime about an allegedly intentional missile strike by Russia on civilian targets are absolutely untrue," Moscow's Ministry of Defense posted a statement to Telegram after imagery began to come out.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said that photos and videos taken of the strike show that a fallen Ukrainian air defense missile, fired from an anti-aircraft missile system, caused the destruction at the Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital.

War analysts took to social media, citing the available visual evidence, to argue against Russia's claims.

"MOD is gaslighting," Dara Massicot, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said in a post on X with an accompanying video of the attack from United24 Media. "No, it was not 'Ukrainian air defense' that caused a children's hospital to be struck."

Massicot added that other Russian missiles had struck a nearby military plant. The Russian attack struck targets spanning Kyiv and several cities.

Analysts assessed that the weapon was not an air-defense missile, nor was it a damaged Russian missile that had been knocked off course. There was no noticeable damage caused to the Russian missile or any indication of distress.

Fabian Hoffmann, a doctoral research fellow with the Oslo Nuclear Project, determined from the photos and videos of the attack that the missile was intact, the exhaust normal, and the weapon was coming in at a steep angle.

"The flight looks fully controlled," he said on X.

Additionally, he challenged assessments that it was a Ukrainian surface-to-air missile, noting the visible turbofan engine, long wings in the midsection, and blunted nose, all of which would point to a cruise missile as opposed to an interceptor.

The Kremlin has made numerous claims that it does not intentionally target civilian infrastructure; however, the Associated Press has recorded many instances in which Russia has attacked civilian-occupied entities.

Ukraine says at least 36 people have been killed in the missile attack during which the children's hospital was struck.

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