Hospitals evacuated in Kyiv after menace from Belarus | EUROtoday

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KYIV — City authorities on Friday urgently evacuated two hospitals, together with a youngsters’s hospital, after the pinnacle of the Belarusian KGB claimed “terrorists” have been being handled there — an accusation that Ukrainian officers referred to as “a lie and provocation,” however which set off fears of an imminent assault.

Speaking earlier than a gathering of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly — a political gathering headed by the Belarusian strongman chief Aleksandr Lukashenko — the KGB head, Ivan Tertel, specified the addresses of the hospitals, that are positioned subsequent to one another within the Ukrainian capital. Tertel promised to “impose punishment.”

At one of many hospitals, Tertel mentioned, Ukrainian army personnel have been being handled, hiding “behind the backs of sick children.”

“All these people and their plans are known to us,” Tertel mentioned. “In the fight against terrorism, we act according to the laws of wartime — decisively and without hesitation.”

Kyiv authorities considered Tertel’s assertion — which was posted as a video on the web — as a attainable warning of a missile or drone assault.

“The enemy actually announced an attack on these medical institutions, naming even the addresses,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko mentioned, talking in a video he posted on social media that was self-recorded from the grounds in entrance of the kids’s hospital.

“Allegedly there are military personnel in these institutions,” Klitschko mentioned, rebutting it as a false declare directed by Russia “to attack the capital’s social infrastructure.”

Belarus is allied with Russia and allowed Moscow’s forces to make use of its territory to invade Ukraine from the north in February 2022. Since then, nonetheless, Lukashenko has resisted strain to contain Belarusian forces straight in Russia’s struggle.

Klitschko mentioned that officers “had to do everything to move the patients and medical personnel to other medical institutions in our city.”

“This is a complicated and not an easy process,” Klitschko mentioned. “But we cannot risk the lives of people.”

A Washington Post staff arrived on the youngsters’s hospital because the final dad and mom have been leaving with their youngsters and the emergency ward had been absolutely evacuated. There was no signal of any army personnel being handled on the premises.

Ihor Zorkov led his daughter Viktoriya, 2, by the hand as they walked down the hallway to the hospital exit, and he juggled three small plastic baggage along with her belongings. Viktoriya had been within the hospital for the previous 5 days with a viral an infection and a temperature, he mentioned.

“They say we can come back Monday,” Zorkov mentioned, as Viktoriya began to cry. “There’s a risk of an attack.”

Yevhenia Hryhoryeva, the pinnacle physician on the youngsters’s hospital, mentioned that the evacuation started a half-hour after metropolis officers contacted her and was accomplished inside 90 minutes. She declined to say what number of youngsters have been evacuated.

The hospital was not harboring Ukrainian army, Hryhoryeva mentioned, although she mentioned she was not stunned by the accusation. There is “a lot of disinformation every day” from Russia and its allies, she mentioned.

“We are all used to it, so we don’t pay attention to it at all,” she mentioned. “We only think about what actions there should be to quickly evacuate the children.”

Ukraine’s safety service, the SBU, mentioned in a press release that stories of “mythical terrorists who are allegedly in Ukrainian hospitals” have been a type of “informational and psychological special operations that play into the hands of the Russian Federation.”

“The representatives of the Belarusian regime, which has completely surrendered its country to Russia, should understand a simple thing — the people who protect Ukraine from the invaders are heroes, not terrorists,” the SBU mentioned. “Because the real terrorists are in the Kremlin.”

The assertion added: “The Belarusian authorities should not scare Ukrainians with false statements but think about how not to end up on the dock in The Hague next to the Kremlin dictator.”