Russian army pound Ukraine President Zelensky home town overnight, kill 6 and injure 7

Russian army pound Ukraine President Zelensky home town overnight, kill 6 and injure 7


At least six people were killed when Russian missiles hit civilian buildings in an overnight attack Tuesday in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, regional officials said, as rescuers scrambled to retrieve people believed to be trapped under the rubble.

The strike involving cruise missiles hit a five-story residential building, which was engulfed in fire, Governor Serhiy Lysak of the Dnipropetrovsk region wrote on Telegram.

After initial reports of three dead, Kryvyi Rih mayor Oleksandr Vilkul wrote on the social media app that the death toll had risen to at least six, and seven people were feared trapped under the rubble. Authorities initially said at least two dozen people were wounded.

The devastation in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown is the latest bloodshed in Russia’s war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022, as Ukrainian forces are mounting counteroffensive operations using Western-supplied firepower to try to drive out the Russians.

Images from the scene relayed by Zelenskyy on his Telegram channel showed firefighters battling the blaze as pockets of fire poked through multiple broken windows of a building. Charred and damaged vehicles littered the nearby ground.

“More terrorist missiles,” he wrote. “Russian killers continue their war against residential buildings, ordinary cities and people.”

The aerial assault was the latest barrage of strikes by Russian forces that targeted various parts of Ukraine overnight. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was attacked with Iranian-made Shahed drones, and the surrounding region was shelled, local Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram. The shelling wounded two civilians in the town of Shevchenkove, southeast of Kharkiv.

The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, separately reported early Tuesday that the drone strike damaged a utilities business and a warehouse in the city’s northeast. Neither Terekhov nor Syniehubov referenced any casualties within Kharkiv.

The Kyiv military administration reported that the capital came under fire as well on Tuesday, but the incoming missiles were destroyed by air defences and there were no immediate reports of any casualties there.

Air defences overnight shot down 10 out of 14 cruise missiles and one of four Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russian forces, Ukraine’s General Staff said on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the head of Ukraine’s ground troops said the country’s forces were “moving forward” outside the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.

Oleksandr Syrskyi wrote on Telegram that Russian forces are “losing positions on the flanks,” while Ukrainian troops were conducting “defensive” operations in the area.

For weeks, Ukrainian officials have been reporting small gains west of Bakhmut, which was largely devastated in the war’s longest and bloodiest battle before Moscow’s forces took control last month.

Also Tuesday, the Russian Defence Ministry published a video showing what it said was a German-made Leopard 2 tank and US-made Bradley fighting vehicle captured from Ukrainian forces. According to the ministry, the video was shot by Russian soldiers after fierce fighting in the southern Zaporizhzhia, and a soldier is seen pointing at the immobilised vehicles. It wasn’t immediately possible to verify the video’s authenticity.

Like the Bakhmut area, battle zones in Zaporizhzhia are one of several places along the roughly 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) front line where Ukrainian forces have been intensifying their counteroffensive operations.

On Monday, Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said the country’s troops recaptured a total of seven villages spanning 90 square kilometre (35 square miles) of eastern Ukraine over the past week – small successes in the early phases of a counteroffensive.

Russian officials didn’t confirm those Ukrainian gains, which were impossible to verify and could be reversed in the to-and-fro of war.

The advance amounted to only small bits of territory and underscored the difficulty of the battle ahead for Ukrainian forces, who will have to fight meter by meter to regain the roughly one-fifth of their country under Russian occupation.

  • An AP report
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