War in Ukraine

Fast Russian Propaganda Response to Latest Attack on Ukraine Underscores Its Deliberate Nature

Fast Russian Propaganda Response to Latest Attack on Ukraine Underscores Its Deliberate Nature
Photo of a doctor at the children's hospital attacked by Russia in Kyiv (Source: "Okhmatdyt" Children's Hospital.

Russia deliberately attacked a children's hospital and killed Ukrainians on the day Russia celebrated the “Day of Russian Family and Love.” Russian propaganda responses and the course of the missile show that this attack was intentional. So, what do we know?

Russian missiles intentionally attacked the largest children's hospital in Ukraine, “Okhmatdyt,” and other civilian targets across the country with more than 40 missiles of various types. So far, at least 31 people have been killed across Ukraine today.

In the hospital that was hit, children are believed to still be trapped under the rubble, according to sources. As Russia celebrates the “Day of Russian Family and Love,” Ukrainians mourn the loss of their own.

Rescuers can hear the voices of people trapped under the rubble and are currently trying to dig them out. Hundreds of Kyiv locals have joined the clean-up and rescue effort.

A pre-planned deliberate attack against civilians

From the early hours of this morning, sirens sounded across Kyiv, and civilians took cover. Initially, the Russian missiles passed the city, heading west to intentionally lead civilians to believe they were safe. However, the missiles quickly changed course and headed back to the city, striking the hospital, as shown on this map:

The attack caused one of the most deadly and destructive strikes on Kyiv in the past year.

Coordinated propaganda response

This attack appears to have been fully pre-planned, as Russia already had its propaganda responses ready. According to the Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD), just minutes after the reported missiles hit the city, dozens of Russian propaganda Telegram channels started writing their versions of events, celebrating that “the Russian missile operators performed with precision.” They also noted that the attack was deliberately timed after the beginning of the working day so that people would be at their jobs.

Some versions—spreading fake news to justify their war crimes—included claims that the children’s hospital had been housing the military since 2022 or that “British and American intelligence agencies were involved” in staging professional photographers at the scene. Others claimed that the hospital was hit by Ukrainian air defense.

Screenshot from a Russian Telegram channel (translated automatically by Telegram.)
Screenshot from a Russian Telegram channel (translated automatically by Telegram.)

However, this video clearly shows a Russian missile striking directly at the children’s hospital building.

In addition, dozens of images of doctors in bloodied scrubs and children being rescued spoke for themselves.

“It’s a pity that the downed missile didn’t fall on the main building of Okhmatdyt, where they treat Ukrainian soldiers under the guise of children,” wrote one popular Russian telegram channel.

Screenshot from a Russian Telegram channel (translated automatically by Telegram.)
Screenshot from a Russian Telegram channel (translated automatically by Telegram.)

“Mommies evacuated with their sick kids… am I the only one who thinks about a double tap with a Kinzhal?” another Russian blogger wrote in response to a photo in which children with cancer and their parents sit on the street, attached to their medical devices, waiting for evacuation to another hospital.

Photo from outside the “Okhmatdyt” children’s hospital in Kyiv.
Photo from outside the “Okhmatdyt” children’s hospital in Kyiv.

Russia’s MOD wrote on Telegram, “The goal of the strike has been achieved. All the assigned targets have been engaged,” evidence that this was clearly deliberate.

The speed at which Russia’s propaganda machine started posting various stories pointing to everyone but themselves is just another example of their brutality.

The consequences

The missiles hit the building where children were receiving dialysis. “Intensive care, operating, and oncology units were damaged. The top priority is to transport patients to where there are ventilators and oxygen,” Health Minister Viktor Liashko said.

Scenes at the hospital are “too grim to describe,” a journalist wrote as he saw the body of a woman lying in the flower bed of the hospital.

A surgeon who was performing open-heart surgery at the time of impact covered the child’s body with his own and proceeded to stabilize her with a bypass device. “We hoped for the best. There was chaos, glass flying everywhere.”

The head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, said, “Today, a Russian Kh-101 missile struck the “Okhmatdyt” hospital. It contains dozens of microelectronics produced in NATO countries. We must halt this and raise it at the NATO summit.” The Kh-101 are conventional and nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missiles designed to defeat air defense systems by flying at low altitudes to avoid radar systems.

This comes just days before the NATO summit, at which bolstering Ukraine’s air defenses is expected to be a top priority.

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