The baby’s mother, who was pregnant throughout the war in Ukraine, was pulled alive from the rubble.
A rocket attack overnight hit a maternity hospital in southern Ukraine, killing a newborn baby, Ukrainian authorities said, blaming Russia.
The baby’s mother, who was pregnant for the duration of the war, and a doctor were pulled out alive from the rubble, according to Ukrainian emergency services on Wednesday.
“At night, Russian monsters launched huge rockets at the small maternity hospital in Vilniansk. Grief overwhelms our hearts – a baby was killed just after seeing the light of day. Rescuers are working at the site,” regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said, writing on the Telegram messaging app.
The alleged Russian raid in Vilniansk, near the city of Zaporizhzhia, adds to the horrific toll suffered by hospitals and other medical facilities – and their patients and staff – during the invasion of Moscow.
The latest tragedy evoked memories of an air attack on March 9 that destroyed a maternity ward in the now occupied port city of Mariupol, in which a pregnant woman and her baby died.
Photos released by Starukh show thick smoke rising above mounds of rubble, combed by rescuers against a dark night sky.
The baby, the mother and the doctor were the only people present in the ward at the time.
Emergency services said the two-story building was destroyed.
Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, condemned the attack in a Telegram message.
Calling the Russian forces that invaded Ukraine on February 24 “terrorists”, he said Russia would be held responsible for “all Ukrainian life”.
The war-torn nation is preparing for one of its harshest winters, as the coldest season begins with Russian attacks destroying critical energy facilities.
Power cuts are expected to last for months and threaten to weaken key services.
“On average, about 900 children a day are born into a life of uncertainty. The chaos of war poses a grave threat to these mothers and newborns,” said Sonia Khush, Country Director of Save the Children Ukraine. “We hear stories from women who gave birth early due to their constant state of stress and fear.
“At the start of the war, many pregnant women were forced to give birth in basements or bunkers. Today, we see women giving birth in overwhelmed hospitals, away from family members and in countries hosting refugees from Ukraine. Even though there are fewer women giving birth in bunkers compared to earlier this year, their pregnancies are still just as stressful.
Vilnyansk lies north of the Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhia region and about 500 kilometers (300 miles) southeast of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
Other parts of Zaporizhia are controlled by Russia and it is one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia tried to formally annex in September after referendums internationally condemned as illegal and meaningless.