FILE PHOTO: Russian Ambassador to the US Antatoly Antonov.
© FILE PHOTO: Russian Ambassador to the US Antatoly Antonov.Sputnik / Mikhail Turgiyev
The US-led bloc will use the incident to justify continued arming of Ukraine, the Russian ambassador has claimed

A deadly missile incident at a prominent children's hospital in Kiev will be used by Western nations to justify sending more weapons to Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to the US Antatoly Antonov has claimed.

The Okhmatdet (short for "protection of motherhood and childhood") medical facility in the Ukrainian capital was seriously damaged by a powerful missile explosion that landed near it amid a Russian long-range barrage on multiple targets in Ukraine. Kiev and Moscow have accused each other of firing the projectile that damaged the facility.

Antonov accused Western media of hiding some relevant facts about "the tragedy that occurred" from their audience, including the assessment of the Russian Defense Ministry that the missile came from a Ukrainian air defense system stationed inside Kiev. Instead, the press and the US government are "whipping up hysterics," the diplomat claimed on Monday.

"The reality is that the incident with the destroyed hospital, which happened on the eve of a NATO summit in Washington, was apparently taken by Kiev's backers as a 'perfect gift' to justify further escalation of the conflict and continuation of hostilities to the last Ukrainian," the ambassador lamented.

Senior Ukrainian officials have suggested that the Russian military deliberately targeted Okhmatdet. Vladimir Zelensky has declared that the missile hit and Moscow's attribution of it to Ukrainian air defenses demonstrate "the cynicism of ugly bastards in the Kremlin."

Pro-Kiev media outlets have said that the weapon that struck the hospital was a Russian air-launched Kh-101 cruise missile. Critics of that claim allege that the projectile, which can apparently be seen in a video filmed from a distance by a witness, was probably an AIM120 fired by a NASAM missile system or an interceptor fired by the MIM-104 Patriot missile system. Western donors have provided those US-developed weapons to Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian officials, two adults, including a doctor, were killed at Okhmatdet, while ten others were injured. Two storeys of the facility's main building were reported destroyed.

A three-day NATO leaders summit is scheduled to start on Tuesday. Ukraine will reportedly be offered a "bridge to membership" at the event, and a Germany-based permanent mission to aid the delivery of western weapons.