War in Ukraine: at least 36 dead in Russian attacks, children's hospital hit… update on the situation

Every day, Midi Libre takes stock of the situation in Ukraine. This Monday, July 8, 2024, discover the latest news around this conflict.

Orban in China to discuss Ukraine, ahead of Washington visit

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban discussed the situation in Ukraine with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, following a trip to Russia where he discussed a potential peace deal with Vladimir Putin, a personal move criticized by the European Union (EU).

The Hungarian leader, whose country has held the rotating presidency of the EU since the beginning of the month, announced that he would go to Washington after Beijing. His office said he would attend the NATO summit this week. Viktor Orban and Xi Jinping, who visited Budapest two months ago, discussed the "peace mission" for Ukraine undertaken by the Hungarian Prime Minister without the support of the EU or Kiev.

Viktor Orban visited Ukraine last week for the first time since the start of the war, in February 2022, to meet Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky. He then went to Moscow, with which Budapest has maintained close relations despite the Russian offensive in Ukraine, denounced as an invasion by kyiv's Western allies. Via the social network ;peace mission 3.0".

"The international community should create the necessary conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue and negotiations between the two parties and provide assistance", Xi Jinping told Viktor Orban according to Chinese state media. "It is in the interest of all parties to seek a political solution through an early ceasefire", he added.

For his part, Viktor Orban said that China was "a key power in creating conditions for peace in the war between Russia and Ukraine". China, which has strengthened ties with Russia, is trying to convince countries to support the six-point peace plan presented in May with Brazil. Viktor Orban does not speak on behalf of Europe, German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck reacted on Monday.

At least 36 dead in Russian attacks on several cities, including kyiv

Russia carried out attacks on kyiv and other cities in Ukraine on Monday, killing at least 36 people and hitting the capital's main children's hospital, Ukrainian officials said .

Air defenses shot down 30 of 38 missiles launched by Russia, the Air Force said, while Ukraine's Interior Minister reported 50 civilian buildings damaged, including buildings residential buildings, a business center and two medical facilities in Kiev, Kryvy Rih, Dnipro and two other cities in the east of the country.

A video posted online and obtained by Reuters showed a missile being dropped towards the children's hospital, followed by a loud explosion. The Ukrainian security service identified the projectile as a Kh-101 cruise missile. According to Kiev emergency services, the attack on the capital left 21 dead and 65 injured in two attacks launched two hours apart.

Debris from Russia's latest missile hit another hospital in kyiv, killing seven people, they said. Eleven deaths and 47 injuries were confirmed in Kryvy Rih, the hometown of Volodymyr Zelensky, emergency services said. Three people were killed in Pokrovsk, in the east of the country, where missiles hit an industrial facility, the regional governor said.

One person was also killed in the city of Dnipro, according to local authorities. The authorities added that industrial facilities, infrastructure and residential and commercial buildings were damaged in kyiv, Kryvyi Rih, Dnipro, Pokrovsk, Kramatorsk, among others.

The Ukrainian president, who arrived in Warsaw on Monday, met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk with the aim of signing a security cooperation agreement and discussing their expectations for the NATO summit. During a press conference following the meeting, Volodymyr Zelensky promised retaliatory measures against Moscow and called on his allies to respond firmly to Monday's attack, by authorizing notably Ukraine to use the weapons delivered by its partners to strike the Russian sites from which the air attacks originate.

"I think we would really like our partners to make such a decision", he said. "Unless they want to see such attacks again." “We will counterattack, we will provide a powerful response to Russia, that's for sure. The question for our partners is: can they answer ?", added Volodymyr Zelensky.

He said Ukraine was waiting for concrete steps from its Western partners to strengthen its air defenses and protect its energy sector, adding that he had requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council in connection with Monday's attack.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he stood ready to provide energy assistance to Ukraine in preparation for the ;winter, as well as to shoot down Russian missiles launched in the direction of NATO countries while they were still above Ukrainian territory.

"France strongly condemns the massive Russian missile strikes which targeted numerous civilian targets in Ukraine this morning, including the Okhmatdyt children's hospital" quot;, said the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement, adding that "these barbaric acts directly and deliberately targeting a children's hospital are to be added to the list of war crimes for which Russia will be held accountable." "It tragically reminds us of the reasons why our support for Ukraine must continue and grow", the press release continues.

Russia, which denies targeting civilians, said it carried out a targeted attack on Ukrainian defense infrastructure and air bases.

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