Officials: Russian missiles kill at least 20 in Ukraine – Times of India


KYIV: Russian missiles that hit a city in central Ukraine killed at least 20 people and injured another 90 on Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said. The country’s president called the attack “an overt act of terrorism” against civilians in locations of no military value.
Ukraine’s National Police said three rockets hit an office building and damaged nearby residential buildings in Vinnytsia, 268 kilometers (167 miles) southwest of the capital. Kiev
A Russian submarine in the Black Sea fired Kalibr cruise missiles at the city, and the dead included three children, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, wrote on the Telegram messaging app. The Russian army has not confirmed the attack.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested the attack was deliberately aimed at civilians. The strike took place when government officials from about 40 countries met in The Hague to discuss coordination of investigations and prosecutions of possible war crimes in Ukraine.
“Every day, Russia is destroying the civilian population, killing Ukrainian children and aiming missiles at civilian objects. Where there is no army (targets). What is it but an overt act of terrorism?” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram.
Vinnytsia is one of the largest cities in Ukraine, with a population of 370,000. Thousands of people from eastern Ukraine, where Russia has concentrated its offensive, have fled there since the start of the war.
The rockets ignited a fire that spread to 50 cars in an adjacent parking lot, officials said. Ukrainian police said people had been reported missing. The governor of the Vinnytsia region, Serhiy Borzov, said Ukrainian air defense systems shot down four more missiles over the area.
Before the missiles hit Vinnytsia, the president’s office reported the deaths of five civilians and the wounding of another eight in the previous day’s Russian attacks.
One person was injured when a rocket damaged several buildings in the southern city of Mykolaiv early Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said. At least five people were killed in a rocket attack on Wednesday in the city.
Russian forces also continued artillery and rocket attacks in eastern Ukraine, mainly in Donetsk province, after overtaking neighboring Luhansk. The city of Lysychansk, the last major stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, fell to Russian troops early this month.
Luhansk and Donetsk together form the Donbas, a predominantly Russian-speaking region of steel mills, mines and other industries.
Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko urged residents to evacuate “as soon as possible”.
“We are urging civilians to leave the region, where electricity, water and gas are in short supply after the Russian shelling,” Kyrylenko said in televised comments. “The fighting is intensifying and people must stop risking their lives and leave the region.”
The British Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that despite continued shelling in the Donbas region, Russian forces have not made major territorial gains in recent days.
“The obsolete Soviet-era vehicles, weapons and tactics used by the Russian armed forces do not lend themselves to quickly regain momentum or build up momentum unless they are used in overwhelming numbers – which Russia is currently unable to accomplish.” said the British Ministry.
Both Russian and Ukrainian armies are trying to replenish their depleted stocks of unmanned aerial vehicles to locate enemy positions and lead artillery strikes.
Both sides are looking for fail-safe, advanced drones that can provide a decisive advantage in combat. Ukrainian officials say the demand for such technology is “huge” with crowdfunding efforts underway to raise the necessary funds for purchases.

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