Nine killed in Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian cities

January 24, 2024 10:36 am

[Source: Reuters]

Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital and other cities, local officials said.

Killing at least nine people and damaging energy infrastructure as Moscow’s war approaches its third year.

In the eastern city of Kharkiv, the death toll rose to eight. Ukraine’s Emergency Services posted online a video of teams sifting through a shattered apartment building and said the body of an eight-year-old girl had been recovered.

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Governor Oleh Synehubov said more than 100 high-rise blocks in the city had been damaged.

Police said 57 people were injured, including eight children.

In Kyiv, where the blasts of air defence pierced the morning calm, emergency services said 22 people, including four children, had been wounded across at least three districts.

At one site, rescuers tended to dazed and groaning victims as workers swept away debris and broken glass.

“There was a very loud bang, and my mother was already running outside, shouting that we need to leave. We all went to the corridor,” said Daniel Boliukh, 21. “Then, we went on the balcony to have a look, and saw all these buildings were on fire.”

Emergency services said apartment buildings, medical and educational institutions were damaged in Kyiv. Some of the damage occurred next to the United Nations office, resident coordinator Denise Brown said in a statement.

The Kremlin, asked to comment on the strikes on Kyiv and Kharkiv, said the Russian military does not target civilians.

Tuesday’s strikes also killed one person in the southeastern city of Pavlohrad, the regional governor said. The attacks damaged a gas pipeline in Kharkiv and thousands were left without power after infrastructure was hit, authorities said.

Russia has carried out regular air strikes on cities and civilian infrastructure far behind the front lines since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Its troops, meanwhile, are attacking along the sprawling eastern front and seeking to seize the initiative, Ukraine’s military says.

Ukraine’s General Staff said the country’s armed forces had destroyed 22 of 44 missiles of various types fired by Russia. Nearly 20 had been shot down over Kyiv, said a spokesman for the city military administration.

A Ukrainian general, Serhiy Naiev, posted a video which he said depicted air defence forces shooting down a Russian missile with a machinegun.

Defence Minister Rustem Umerov told the latest international ministerial meeting on Kyiv’s defence needs that Russia was stepping up missile attacks.

Over the past two months, he said according to the ministry website, Russian forces had deployed more than 600 missiles and more than 1,000 drones against Ukrainian targets.

Russian forces have increasingly employed a mix of air- and land-based missiles that are more difficult to shoot down. Kyiv has called for more advanced air defence systems from Western partners as it struggles to defend itself.

Moscow accused Kyiv on Sunday of shelling the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, killing 27 people. Ukrainian forces said Russia bore responsibility for the attack.

Officials in Ukraine’s northern Sumy region said a missile strike had hit infrastructure on the city of Shostka on Tuesday.

“The world must understand that this terror can only be stopped by force,” the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Telegram.

The Russian defence ministry said on Tuesday it had struck enterprises producing missiles, explosives and ammunition.