UN assessment suggests Ukraine children's hospital hit by Russian missile

Rescuers and volunteers work at Ohmatdyt Children's Hospital that was damaged during Russian missile strikes, in Kyiv

GENEVA (Reuters) - A lethal strike on a children's hospital in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, was likely caused by a direct hit from a Russian missile, the head of the U.N. human rights monitoring mission said on Tuesday, citing its own analysis.

The strike in broad daylight was part of a series of attacks that killed at least 41 people across Ukraine, including children. The Kremlin said it was Ukrainian anti-missile fire, not Russia, that struck the hospital.

"Analysis of the video footage and an assessment made at the incident site indicates a high likelihood that the children's hospital suffered a direct hit rather than receiving damage due to an intercepted weapon system," Danielle Bell, head of mission for the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, told a press briefing in Geneva via video link from Kyiv.

She added that her team, who visited the site on Monday, could not make a final determination but that the missile appeared to have been launched by the Russian Federation.

The centre treats children with serious conditions, such as cancer and kidney disease, and had around 670 child patients and some 1,000 staff at the time of the attack, Bell said.

"Staff had moved the children to a bunker yesterday morning when the air raid sirens first went off otherwise the casualties would have been much higher," she said.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Miranda Murray, Friederike Heine and Barbara Lewis)