Ukraine war latest: Chinese troops arrive in Belarus - as countries launch military drills near Polish border (2024)

Key points
  • China and Belarus launch joint military drills near Polish border on eve of NATO summit
  • Day of mourning follows Russian attack on Kyiv children's hospital and four other cities, killing 41 and injuring 150
  • Russia used 'new and noteworthy' tactic in deadly wave of missile strikes
  • Ukraine attacks several Russian regions with dozens of drones
  • NATO leaders to be warned of North Korean threat to Europe
  • Deborah Haynes analysis:Russia sending a message to NATO
  • Your questions answered:Has the West been honest about Ukraine's failures?| Is Kyiv next?
  • Live reporting by Brad Young

11:51:12

In pictures: Efforts begin to rebuild children's hospital

While rescuers search through the rubble, other crews are rebuilding the Kyiv hospital attacked by Russia yesterday.

Pictures taken by Reuters photographers on the ground show steel reinforcing bars being cut and windows replaced at the 720-bed Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital.

A two-story wing treating children with cancer was destroyed in the attack.

The paediatric hospital is Ukraine's largest, treating more than 20,000 people annually and performing 10,000 surgeries a year.

Some of these surgeries were interrupted by the attack, with health officials saying debris fell into patients open chest cavities during heart operations.

11:12:28

Ukraine publishes 'unequivocal evidence' of Russian missile at hospital

Ukraine's security service has published what it says is "unequivocal" evidence a Russian missile hit Kyiv's largest children's hospital.

Photographs from Okhmatdyt hospital show fragments of a Kh-101 cruise missile engine, hull, tail androcket wing opening mechanism, says the SBU.

Fragments of the engine casing were also recovered, including serial numbers.

The proportions, shape, dimensions and flight path of the missile seen in videos correspond to a Kh-101 missile, it said.

The security service said the destruction of a two-story building could not be achieved by a NASAMS air defence system, as was claimed by the Russian ministry of defence.

SBU chief Vasyl Malyuk said: "A terrorist state is not an abstract concept. There are specific names of the killers. And nothing will save them from justice."

10:49:08

Four children as young as eight killed by Russia's missile barrage

Among the 41 Ukrainians killed by Russia's widespread airstrikes yesterday were four children, according to Kyiv.

Russian missiles killed two girls aged eight and 14 and two boys aged eight and 10, said the office of the prosecutor general

Another 12 children aged between two and 17 were injured, it said.

The casualties bring the number of children killed in Russia's invasion to 559, and the number injured to 1,449.

10:30:01

Russia deliberately attacks civilians to force leaders to give up, says expert

Russia attacks civilians routinely and on purpose, says security and defence analyst Professor Michael Clarke.

The WHO has logged more than 200 examples of health facilities being targeted in Ukraine and the same tactics were used in Syria in 2016, he says.

While it is always possible Moscow's strike on Kyiv'sOhmatdyt children's hospital was part of an intelligence failure, it falls within a pattern of attacks on civilian targets, he says.

"They have a philosophy of doing that, it's a way of waging war," says ProfessorClarke.

"Russia does have a history of attacking hospitals. They do it deliberately because they figure that the more distress they can bring to a civilian population, the more quickly a political leadership will give up."

Despite almost daily reports coming from Ukraine of damage to homes, energy infrastructure and civilian centres, Russia denies it attacks civilians targets.

10:08:01

Video analysis shows 'high likelihood' of direct hit on hospital by Russian missile

The Kremlin's attempts to deflect blame for an attack on a Ukrainian hospital have been slapped down by the head of the UN's human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine.

Danielle Bel said there was a "high likelihood" Ohmatdyt hospital, Kyiv, suffered a direct hit by a Russian missile, following video analysis.

Casualties would have been "much higher" had people not been sheltering in a bunker during the strike, she said.

"Analysis of the video footage and an assessment made at theincident site indicates a high likelihood that the children'shospital suffered a direct hit rather than receiving damage dueto an intercepted weapon system."

The Russian foreign ministry has tried to claim that a Ukrainian NASAMS air defence missile hit the hospital, but the Institute for the Study of War says this is contrary to all available evidence.

Here's an excerpt from our 9.10am post on their report:

The ISW said Russian military bloggers published misleading posts falsely claiming a Ukrainian air defence missile hit the hospital, but the trajectory and the visible turbojet engine under its hull match a Russian Kh-101 missile.

The missile in the video also does not appear to be damaged by air defence interceptors, it said.

The Ukrainian Security Service said the rear end of a Kh-101Kalibr missile and its guidance system were recovered from the site of the attack.

Sky News cannot independently verify these reports.

Even if Russian claims were true, it would not absolve them of responsibility as the aggressor state under the Geneva Convention, to which it is a signatory, the ISW said.

09:43:41

Russia attacked children's hospital to 'drive people from Ukraine'

Russia's attack on Ukraine's largest children's hospital was intended to drive people to leave the country out of fear, says a leading psychologist on war trauma.

The missile barrage, which hit five cities and other health facilities, is a "new phase of the conflict", said Professor Dennis Ougrin.

He said 40% of children in western Ukraine suffer from significant PTSD symptoms due to the destruction, dread and disruption of Russia's invasion, and for those in the east, it will be "significantly higher".

"The main point of this is to scare people and to drive as many Ukrainians out of Ukraine as possible. It is a different level. It is really a new phase of this conflict."

He continued: "It will leave an indelible mark on the Ukrainian consciousness. There are war crimes - and then there is this. This is a different league of a crime."

09:10:57

Claims Russia did not hit children's hospital are false, say analysts

The Kremlin claims it was Ukrainian anti-missile fire, not Russian missiles, that struck achildren's hospital in Kyiv yesterday.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not provide any evidence for the assertion.

"I insist, we do notconduct strikes on civilian targets," he said.

Various false Russian narratives deflecting blame have emerged that are contrary to all available evidence since it launched a huge wave of attacks on five Ukrainian cities, the Institute for the Study of War says.

It said Russian military bloggers published misleading posts falsely claiming a Ukrainian air defence missile hit the hospital, but the trajectory and the visible turbojet engine under its hull match a Russian Kh-101 missile.

The missile in the video does not appear to be damaged by air defence interceptors, it said.

The Ukrainian security service reported the serial numbers of the missile components matched those of other Russian Kh-101s.

Regardless, even if Russian claims were true, it would not absolve them of responsibility as the aggressor state under the Geneva Convention, to which it is a signatory, the ISW said.

08:46:01

Russia used 'new and noteworthy' tactic in deadly wave of missile strikes

Russia's deadliest wave of missile strikes in months deployed a "new and noteworthy tactic" to maximise damage, according to war analysts.

Its military launched cruise missiles at extremely low altitudes, giving air defence systems no time to respond before they were within close range of their targets, said the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Former Ukrainian air forces spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat said some of the rockets flew at just 50 metres above the ground.

"Russian forces may have innovated their tactics and/or technology somewhat to inflict maximum damage on Ukrainian infrastructure," the ISW said.

"Russia has consistently adapted the strike packages it uses against Ukraine to take advantage of Ukraine's air defence shortages, and the 8 July strikes represent a new and adapted strike package that Ukraine will need to learn to respond to with requisite levels of Western-provided air defence systems."

08:19:06

'Debris fell into open chests during surgery': Day of mourning follows Russian attack on children's hospital

Kyiv is observing a day of mourning after devastating Russian missile strikes killed 41 people and injured more than 150 others across Ukraine yesterday.

Ukraine's largest children's hospital, Okhmatdyt, was hit in the capital, causing debris to fall into heart patients' open chests in the middle of surgery, said health minister Viktor Liashko.

Young cancer patients had their beds wheeled into parks and onto the streets to continue treatment.

"Among the victims were Ukraine's sickest children," said Volker Turk, the UN human rights commissioner.

The bombardment struck seven of the city's ten districts, killing at least seven people including two hospital staff members.

Rescuers searched for victims under the rubble of a partially collapsed, two-story cancer wing of the facility overnight.

They formed a line, passing bricks and other debris to each other as they sifted through rubble.

The intensive care unit, operating theatres and oncology departments all were damaged, officials said.

Kyiv city has lowered its flags and prohibited entertainment events today.

It was just one of five cities attacked in Russia's daylight barrage, which saw 40 missiles kill civilians across the country, according to Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Russia denied attacking the hospital and said the strikes hit military targets.

07:55:01

Putin and Indian PM feed horses and drive buggy before talks begin

Back in Russia, and Vladimir Putin has been showing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi around his suburban residence ahead of official talks today.

The Russian president offered Mr Modi tea, berries and sweets and took him on a tour of the grounds in a motorised cart yesterday.

The pair also visited theresidence's stable and watched a show with performing horses.

But far more serious matters will be the subject of conversations between the leaders today, not least securing the discharge of Indian citizens who were "misled" into fighting in the Ukraine war.

A top Indian official said last week that fixing India'strade imbalance with Russia would also be top of Mr Modi's priorities.

Mr Modi is expected to seek to continue close relations with Russia, a major defence supplier for India.

India has neither condemned nor condoned Russia's invasion and has instead called for negotiations to end the war.

Ukraine war latest: Chinese troops arrive in Belarus - as countries launch military drills near Polish border (2024)

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