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Zelensky says Indian PM's embrace with Putin a 'huge disappointment' after Russian mass attack on Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 9, 2024 10:17 AM 2 min read
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Russia on July 8, 2024. (Narendra Modi/Twitter)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 9 criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow amid Russia's attack on a children's hospital in Kyiv.

Modi arrived in Moscow on July 8 in what was his first trip to Russia since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia launched a missile attack against Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, and others on the morning of July 8, killing at least 38 and injuring over 170. One missile struck the building of the Okhmatdyt hospital, Ukraine's largest children's medical center.

While Western officials condemned the Russian attack, Modi posted a photo of himself shaking hands and hugging Putin, voicing hope for "cementing the bonds of friendship" between the two nations.

"It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world's largest democracy hug the world's most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day," Zelensky wrote on X.

The Russian military struck the children's hospital with a Kh-101 cruise missile, according to the preliminary data obtained by the State Security Service (SBU), killing at least two people and injuring at least 50.

Russia launched another attack against Kyiv later during the day, with debris damaging a maternity hospital in another district, killing seven people.

New Delhi has been calling for a diplomatic solution to Russia's war against Ukraine but has been simultaneously fostering close economic ties with Moscow. India became one of the chief buyers of Russian oil following Western sanctions, although pressure from U.S. sanctions increasingly threatens this trade.

While India participated in Ukraine's global peace summit in June, Modi did not attend personally, and India's representative did not ultimately sign the joint communique.

‘I want Russians to feel it on their own skin’: Shock, fury at the site of children’s hospital attack
Nurse Olesia Filonenko was preparing for the first operation of the day at the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in Kyiv when she heard explosions “somewhere far away.” “Then, in a second, everything was blown away,” she told the Kyiv Independent. “Dust, smoke. We were all blown out of the operating r…

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