Press Release

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell on deadly strikes in Ukraine

08 July 2024

I am horrified by the news out of Ukraine today that at least 150 people have reportedly been killed or injured, and a children’s hospital severely damaged in Kyiv, during a wave of deadly missile strikes across the country.

The barrage of missiles fell in cities including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. We do not yet know the number of children killed or injured in these attacks.

My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones.

The attack on Okhmatdyt Hospital, the country’s largest medical centre for children, is yet another brutal reminder that nowhere is safe for children in Ukraine. Hospitals should be safe havens, and they are afforded a special level of protection under international law. Civilians, including children and the facilities and services they rely on, must always be protected.

Nearly three years since the escalation of the war in Ukraine, there seems to be no end to the horror that children and their families are forced to endure.

UNICEF will continue to work across Ukraine, including in frontline areas, to respond to the immediate needs of children and families. This includes providing lifesaving services and supplies, and mental health and psychosocial support. UNICEF is already providing emergency supplies to Okhmatdyt Hospital and stands ready to assist communities affected by today’s attacks.

More than anything, the children of Ukraine need lasting peace.




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