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Russia's latest cruise missile attacks on multiple Ukrainian cities kill at least 11 people I DETAILS

The spokesperson for Ukraine鈥檚 State Emergency Service, Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, said that in addition to the dead, at least 11 people were wounded

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Kyiv Updated on: January 27, 2023 21:12 IST
A woman stands on top of a crater next to a destroyed house
Image Source : AP A woman stands on top of a crater next to a destroyed house after a Russian rocket attack in Hlevakha.

Russia-Ukraine war: Russia fired more missiles and self-exploding drones at nearly a dozen Ukrainian provinces early Thursday, causing the first war-related death in Kyiv this year and killing at least 11 people overall, according to Ukrainian authorities. The attacks adhered to Russia鈥檚 recent pattern of striking power plants and other critical infrastructure about every two weeks. However, the latest onslaught came after Germany and the United States upped the ante in Russia鈥檚 11-month war by promising Wednesday to send high-tech battle tanks to Ukraine and green-lighting other allies to do the same.

The spokesperson for Ukraine鈥檚 State Emergency Service, Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, said that in addition to the dead, at least 11 people were wounded. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person was killed during the attacks, the city鈥檚 first such death since New Year鈥檚 Eve. Two others were injured, he said. The head of the Kyiv city administration, Serhii Popko, said Ukrainian air defences shot down 15 cruise missiles heading to the area.

The regional prosecutor鈥檚 office in Ukraine鈥檚 Zaporizhzhia province said three people were killed and seven injured in a strike on an energy facility. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander of Ukraine鈥檚 armed forces, said Thursday鈥檚 volley involved a total of 55 missiles, of which 47 were intercepted.

Air raid sirens echoed across the country

Self-exploding drones swept in overnight before the missile strikes. As air raid sirens echoed across the country, civilians, some tugging pet dogs on leashes, poured into subway stations, underground parking lots and basements to seek shelter. It was the first such barrage of Russian firepower across the country since January聽14.

Russia has carried out massive strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities since early October, part of a strategy to try to hamper Ukrainian forces and to keep civilians in the cold and dark this winter before what many experts predict could be a springtime offensive as more conscripts reach the battlefields. Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko acknowledged that some sites were hit, resulting in emergency power outages.

In Kyiv鈥檚 southern Holosiivsky district, Arkadii Kuritsyn, 53, said he heard a loud explosion that blew out the windows of several trucks parked next to his scrap metal business and snapped several trees in a nearby wooded area in half.

But the strikes did not reach what appeared to be the intended target: a nearby district power plant. The industrial area has witnessed several missile attacks already, due to its proximity to the power station, said Andrii Tarasenko, 36, who works in a factory nearby. 鈥淚 am not surprised it was targeted again,鈥 he said. 鈥淲e鈥檝e gotten used to it.鈥

Russian drone attack聽

In Hlevakha, an urban area about 35 kilometres (about 22 miles) southwest of the capital, a barrage of missiles followed a drone attack that damaged the two-story home of Halyna Panasian. The damage included a deep crater in the courtyard, a large hole in the roof and pieces of debris scattered about the house.

鈥淚 was in my bedroom when the house was hit. I had to crawl out through the destroyed walls,鈥 Panasian, 59, said of the blast at about 2 a.m. 鈥淪uch grief: What can I say? How can I have a happy life now? I can鈥檛. I鈥檓 so sad. My life is broken.鈥

The attacks came a day after Germany said it would supply 14 high-tech Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and authorize other European countries to send up to 88 more. The U.S. said it planned to ship 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukrainian forces. Along with Germany and the U.S., Britain, Poland, the Netherlands and Sweden are among the nations that have sent or announced plans to supply hundreds of tanks and heavily armoured vehicles to fortify Ukraine as it enters a new phase of the war and tries to break through entrenched Russian lines.

Gian Gentile, a U.S. Army veteran and senior historian with the Rand think tank, said the M1 Abrams and the Leopards would give Ukraine a 鈥渕echanized armoured punching force.鈥 The British government said Thursday it would start training Ukrainian troops next week on how to use and fix Challenger 2 tanks. The U.K. is giving 14 of the tanks to Ukraine鈥檚 forces, and Defense Minister Alex Chalk said they should arrive in Ukraine by the end of March.

Fresh lethal weapons poured by US and Germany

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Ukrainian crews will start their training in Germany in the coming days on German-made Marders, which are infantry fighting vehicles, while training on the heavier Leopard 2 tanks would start 鈥渁 little later.鈥 鈥淚n any case, the aim with the Leopards is to have the first company in Ukraine by the end of March, beginning of April,鈥 he added. 鈥淚 can鈥檛 say the precise day.鈥 NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declined to speculate on the timing of the tanks鈥 arrival but told Britain鈥檚 Sky News the 鈥渁llies are extremely focused on the importance of speed.鈥

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the move to provide Ukraine with modern tanks reflected the West鈥檚 growing involvement in the conflict. 鈥淏oth European capitals and Washington keep saying that the delivery of various kinds of weapons systems, including tanks, to Ukraine, absolutely does not mean the involvement of these countries or the alliance in the hostilities ongoing in Ukraine,鈥 Peskov told reporters. 鈥淲e categorically disagree with that.鈥

鈥淢oscow views everything that has been done by the alliance and the capitals I have mentioned as direct involvement in the conflict,鈥 he added. 鈥淲e can see it growing.鈥 French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, who happened to be in Ukraine鈥檚 Black Sea port city of Odesa on Thursday, in part to meet with Ukraine鈥檚 foreign minister. told France鈥檚 LCI television that Thursday鈥檚 attacks went beyond retaliation. 鈥淲hat we saw this morning 鈥 that is, new strikes on civilian installations 鈥 that is not making war. It is making war crimes.鈥

(With inputs from AP)

Also Read:聽Russia-Ukraine war: 11 people killed as fresh missiles strike Kyiv, US condemns

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