Zelenskyy seeks emergency UN Security Council meeting after Russian strikes 

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses media in Kehrsatz near Bern, Switzerland, on Jan. 15, 2024. Pool photo by Alessandro Della Valle/AFP via Getty Images. 
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses media in Kehrsatz near Bern, Switzerland, on Jan. 15, 2024. Pool photo by Alessandro Della Valle/AFP via Getty Images. 

By Jack Phillips 
Contributing Writer 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Monday that he’s calling for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council after Russia fired missiles at targets across the country. Moscow denied that it intentionally targeted civilians or civilian infrastructure. 

The Russian missile attack across Ukraine on Monday killed at least 31 people and injured 154, Ukrainian officials said, with one missile allegedly striking a large children’s hospital in the capital of Kyiv. 

“Ukraine is currently initiating an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council due to the Russian strike on civilian infrastructure, including the children’s hospital,” Zelenskyy wrote on social media. 

The daytime barrage targeted five Ukrainian cities, with more than 40 missiles of different types hitting apartment buildings and public infrastructure, he said. Ukraine’s air force said it intercepted 30 missiles. 

“We must hold Russia accountable for terror … for the orders to launch strikes,” Zelenskyy said during a joint news conference with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Poland. “Russia responds to everything that we try to discuss with it about peace by attacking homes and hospitals.” 

At the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in Kyiv, rescuers searched for victims under the rubble of a partially collapsed, two-story wing of the facility. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on social media that at least 16 people, seven of them children, were hospitalized. 

“Two victims from other districts died in the hospital,” he wrote. 

Ukraine’s security service said it found wreckage from a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile at the site and had opened proceedings on war crime charges. The Kh-101 is an air-launched missile that flies low to avoid detection by radar. Ukraine said it shot down 11 of 13 Kh-101 missiles that were launched on Monday. 

Russia Disputes Claims 

The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces had carried out strikes on defense industry targets and aviation bases in Ukraine. 

The ministry told state-backed news outlets that the damage done in Kyiv, including at a children’s hospital, was caused by an errant Ukrainian air defense missile, not a Russian missile strike. The ministry acknowledged that Russian forces fired a barrage of missiles at Ukraine but stated they were targeting military airfields and factories. 

Claims made by the Kyiv government “alleging a purportedly deliberate Russian strike on civilian sites are absolutely not true,” the Russian statement said. “Numerous photos and videos from Kiev irrefutably confirm destruction by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, which was fired by a launcher positioned inside the city.” 

The ministry didn’t provide videos or photos to support the claims. 

In a separate statement provided by Russian state-backed media, the ministry said that its strikes destroyed three U.S.-made missile systems that were being used by Ukrainian forces and that one strike killed “up to 10 foreign specialists servicing those systems.” 

NATO Meeting 

Western leaders who have backed Ukraine will meet for a three-day NATO summit in Washington starting on Tuesday. 

During the meeting in Washington, officials in the 32-member military bloc will discuss military support for Ukraine, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week. 

He said that the attending heads of state will agree on “a substantial package for Ukraine,” that will “constitute a bridge to NATO membership and a very strong package for Ukraine at the Summit.” 

Earlier in July, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the United States would provide a new $2 billion security package to Ukraine, including missile systems, munitions and anti-tank weapons. 

Analysis by the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, as well as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, has found that about $175 billion has been sent by the United States to Ukraine since February 2022. 

A significant portion of that, or $61.3 billion, was delivered to the country in April. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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