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Kyiv resident witnesses children's hospital bombing after experiencing a decade of war

Anna Sorokina moved away from a town near the border with Russia, but the horrors of war followed her to Ukraine's capital.
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Posted at 11:51 AM, Jul 10, 2024

The war in Ukraine might not still be at the forefront of news in the U.S., but for those living in Ukraine, the battle with Russia has continued to be bloody.

Earlier this week, Russia launched a deadly missile strike on a Ukrainian children's hospital in the capital of Kyiv that specializes in treating child victims of Russian attacks, as well as pediatric cancer. The death toll from the Monday attack has risen to at least 40.

Anna Sorokina, a resident of Kyiv, said she moved to the capital shortly before Russia launched its latest invasion in early 2022. Having grown up near the Russian border in the Luhansk region, the realities of war became the norm.

"War has been a big part of my life since 2014," she said. "So my high school years went with bombings, curfews and just constant worrying about the dangers of all of it. And when I had the opportunity, I moved to Kyiv just a few months before the full-scale war began in February 2022. So mostly I've seen all of it, unfortunately. And, you know, just it takes mentally a lot out of you."

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When Russia attacked the hospital, Sorokina said she was not far from the bombing.

"This Monday, it was just, you know, a regular day for all of us," she said. "I was making my breakfast and in the morning when we got the air raid alarm. And unfortunately, I didn't go to the shelter because I was thinking there must be nothing because people are inside, 10 a.m., people are going to work, nothing might happen. So I just was going on about my business and suddenly I heard explosions."

She then felt shaking and took cover to avoid shattering glass.

"It was one of the loudest attacks I've ever heard, to be honest," she said. "I was very angry at the Russians, at the rocket launch. It's just crazy because you see the hospital, the children's hospital that treats cancer patients and imagine having this battle with disease and also having that so suddenly."

Meanwhile in Washington, leaders from nations part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are meeting and discussing future backing of Ukraine. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging nations like the U.S. to increase their support of Ukraine's defense.

It is a plea echoed by Sorokina.

"You see the pictures. You see the videos. We need more air defense systems," she said. "We need planes. We can't defend ourselves. We need more support."