07 February 2024

Russia attacks targets across Ukraine as EU’s top diplomat visits Kyiv

07 February 2024

Russia has fired cruise and ballistic missiles as well as Shahed-type drones at six regions across Ukraine, killing at least five civilians and injuring almost 50 others including a pregnant woman.

The attacks on Wednesday targeted at least three major cities, including the capital Kyiv where the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, was discussing military aid and financial support for Ukraine.

He said he started his day in an air raid shelter, calling it part of Ukraine’s “daily reality” after almost two years of war.

The West’s help is desperately needed by Ukraine, which is struggling with ammunition and personnel shortages.

Some long-term foreign funding is also in doubt as the latest effort to clinch a deal on Ukraine aid in the US Senate collapsed on Tuesday.

Although the roughly 1,500-kilometre (900-mile) front line has barely budged in recent months, the Kremlin’s forces have the upper hand in stocks of missiles and artillery ammunition used for long-range strikes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last month that air defence and electronic warfare systems that can stop drones are Kyiv’s top priorities.

Ukraine’s armed forces said they intercepted 44 drones and missiles out of 64 that were launched in the morning attack.

Serhii Bolvinov, head of the National Police’s investigation unit in the region, said a preliminary assessment concluded that two of the five missiles launched at Kharkiv in north-eastern Ukraine were made in North Korea.

Ukraine and seven allies have previously accused Russia of using North Korean ballistic missiles and launchers supplied by Pyongyang in aerial attacks against Ukraine, in violation of UN sanctions.

The Russian Defence Ministry said it used long-range precision weapons and drones to aim at Ukrainian factories that manufacture sea drones, coastal defence missile systems, rockets and explosives.

It claimed that all targets were hit.

The barrage killed four people in Kyiv, the State Emergency Service said.

It was the first bombardment of Kyiv for two weeks.

The attack also killed a man in Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, where some 20 residential buildings and public infrastructure were damaged, regional governor Vitalii Kim said.

Thirty-five people were injured in Kyiv, according to mayor Vitalii Klitschko, including a pregnant woman.

Apartment buildings caught fire in multiple Kyiv districts, he said.

Two power lines damaged during the attack left some residents on Kyiv’s east bank without power.

In Kharkiv, in north-eastern Ukraine, a 52-year-old woman was slightly injured in an S-300 missile attack, regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

Missiles also hit as far away as the Lviv region of western Ukraine, where a fire broke out, officials said.

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