Ukraine wipes out Russian unit that killed two-day-old boy

Payback for newborn slaughtered by Putin: Ukraine wipes out Russian unit behind maternity ward missile strike that killed a baby

  • Two-day-old boy killed in Russian missile strike on Ukrainian hospital last week
  • Official said Kyiv’s forces have now wiped out the unit that carried out the strike 
  • Serhii Podlianov has been dubbed the youngest victim of Putin’s war, and was laid to rest Thursday in emotional ceremony watched by mother Maria

Ukraine has wiped out the Russian unit that fired a missile at a maternity hospital last week, killing a two-day-old baby boy and wounding his mother. 

Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region where the hospital was located, said Kyiv’s forces ‘demolished’ an S-300 launcher and its crew while hitting Russian positions along the frontlines.

Mr Starukh revealed the information in a briefing to journalists on Monday, but did not say exactly when or how the strike was carried out.

The maternity hospital, in the city of Vilniansk, was struck around 2am on Wednesday last week killing the boy – named Serhii Podlianov – who has been dubbed the youngest victim of Russia’s war.

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A Russian missile struck the maternity ward of the Vilnianska Hospital near Zaporizhzhia, early Wednesday last week, killing two-day-old baby boy Serhii Podlianov

Pictured: Rescuers work at the site of a maternity ward of a hospital destroyed by a Russian missile attack, as their attack on Ukraine continues, in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region

The same strike wounded mother Maria Kamianetska and a doctor, who were pulled from the rubble of the building by rescue crews.

Mr Starukh said: ‘A rocket artillery unit that shelled the maternity ward with S-300 missiles was reportedly demolished (by Ukrainian forces).’

He said additional strikes were carried out on Russian forces in Melitopol and Tokmak, and credited guerrilla fighters for providing their locations. 

Serhii was laid to rest on Thursday in a service attended by 15 people including mother Maria, who wept over his open casket and had to be held upright by her own mother and sister-in-law.

The boy was Maria’s fourth child, she also has a seven-year-old son and two daughters according to the Washington Post.

Serhii died moments after Maria had finished nursing him, and had laid him down in a cot next to her bed to sleep.

He was crushed to death by falling masonry that trapped Maria, leaving her legs bloodied and scraped.

Maria had discovered she was expecting the baby in late February, after Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

Serhii’s entire life – from conception to birth and untimely death – was spent in the shadow of the war. He was killed before he could even be issued a birth certificate.

Following the attack, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of bringing ‘terror and murder’ to Ukraine.

‘The enemy has once again decided to try to achieve with terror and murder what it wasn’t able to achieve for nine months and won’t be able to achieve,’ Zelensky said on social media. ‘Instead, it will only be held to account for all the evil it has brought to our country,’ he added.

Pictured: A digger moves rubble from the site of the Russian missile strike on Wednesday

Ukrainian rescuers remove a doctor from the rubble of a hospital maternity ward destroyed by a Russian missile attack, as their attack on Ukraine continues, in Vilniansk

Pictured: Rescuers work at the site of the maternity ward

Regional governor, Oleksandr Starukh, wrote on the Telegram messaging app: ‘At night, Russian monsters launched huge rockets at the small maternity ward of the hospital in Vilniansk. Grief overwhelms our hearts – a baby was killed who had just seen the light of day. Rescuers are working at the site.’

The small town of Vilniansk is around 30 miles from the front line and last week was targeted in Russian strikes that killed 10 people, officials have said.

It is located in the Zaporizhzhia region, which Moscow claimed to have annexed despite not having full control of the territory. 

The strike in Vilniansk, close to the city of Zaporizhzhia, adds to the gruesome toll suffered by hospitals and other medical facilities – and their patients and staff – in the Russian invasion entering its tenth month this week. 

On March 9, in the early stages of the war, the Russian Air Force bombed Mariupol’s Maternity Hospital No 3 – a complex doubling as a children’s hospital. The strike killed three people, injured at least sixteen, and caused at least one stillbirth.

The strike was roundly criticised at the time, with images from the blast site broadcast around the globe, and the world gave an early indication of the Russian military’s brutality that was to become a theme of the war.

In one image, a heavily pregnant women was seen being led down the stairs and stretchered away through the rubble – her face covered in blood. 

Another pregnant woman was also seen being stretchered through the rubble-covered courtyard of the hospital. She and her baby later died.

Moscow insisted it was ‘staged’, despite overwhelming evidence on the contrary.

Since Russia’s invasion began, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has registered 703 attacks on healthcare infrastructure.

In recent weeks, as Russia has suffered embarrassing military defeats on the ground and has been pushed back in key southern regions – including the retreat from Kherson – the Kremlin’s generals have unleashed hundreds of missile strikes. 

‘Ukraine’s health system is facing its darkest days in the war so far. Having endured more than 700 attacks, it is now also a victim of the energy crisis,’ Hans Kluge, the WHO regional director for Europe, said in a statement after visiting Ukraine. 

Ukrainian servicemen drive a tank in eastern Ukraine on November 22, 2022

A local resident carries a sheet of plywood destined to cover a broken window of a residential building after a recent attack in Chasiv Yar on November 22

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