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Kremlin responds to Kiev hospital attack allegations

Russian forces do not target civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed

Moscow has vehemently denied responsibility for the tragedy at the Okhmatdet children’s hospital in Kiev, after a missile hit the facility on Monday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile. 

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Peskov stressed that Russia “does not strike civilian targets” and that all strikes carried out by the Russian military are exclusively aimed at “critical infrastructure facilities and military targets that are somehow related to the regime’s military potential.” 

Regarding Ukraine’s accusations that Moscow intentionally hit the hospital in Kiev, Peskov pointed to the official statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, which “absolutely rules out that there were strikes on any civilian targets. It states that we are talking about the fall of an anti-missile.” 

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Monday that it had conducted a large-scale attack using long-range high-precision weapons to strike Ukrainian military industry facilities and aviation bases. The attack was said to be in response to Kiev’s continued attempts to cause damage to Russian energy and economic facilities. 

The ministry stated that all the intended targets were hit and rejected Kiev’s claims of Russian missiles striking civilian facilities as “absolutely untrue.” 

“Numerous published photos and video footage from Kiev clearly confirm the fact of destruction due to the fall of a Ukrainian air defense missile launched from an anti-aircraft missile system within the city,” the ministry said. 

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It also accused Kiev of attempting similar “hysterics” in the past, especially before large international summits, such as the NATO gathering in Washington that kicked off on Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry suggested that the incident at Okhmatdet is being used by the Ukrainian authorities to ensure continued funding and the continuation of the conflict. 

Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has also suggested that the hospital tragedy is seen by Kiev’s Western backers as a “perfect gift” to justify further escalation of the conflict and the continuation of hostilities. 

The Western press is “whipping up hysterics” and hiding relevant facts about the tragedy, Antonov claimed, including Moscow’s assessment that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile. 

Pro-Kiev media outlets have claimed that the weapon that struck the hospital was a Russian air-launched Kh-101 cruise missile. However, others have argued that the projectile, which can apparently be seen in a video filmed from a distance by a witness, was probably an AIM120 fired by a NASAM missile system or an interceptor fired by the MIM-104 Patriot missile system. Western donors have provided Ukraine with this type of US-developed weapon.

July 09, 2024 at 04:12PM

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