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Missiles hit Kyiv as EU makes Russia state sponsor of terrorism


KYIV, Ukraine — Russia pounded Ukraine on Wednesday with another barrage of missiles, hitting critical energy infrastructure and residential areas and triggering blackouts across the country, including in the capital Kyiv and Lviv in the west.

At least four people were killed in the Kyiv region, Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said, and at least 34 were injured, including five children.

As Moscow persisted in its relentless attempt to deprive millions of Ukrainians of electricity, heat and water during the cold winter months, the European Parliament, in a token vote on Wednesday, designated Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, citing its “brutal and inhumane” policies. acts” against ordinary citizens.

In a video address to the UN Security Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a “strong response” to the carnage. “In the midst of us,” he told the council, which included the Russian ambassador, “you have the representative of a state that offers nothing to the world but terror” and should not participate “in any type of vote concerning his terror”.

“It’s a stalemate,” Zelensky said at the emergency meeting called by the United States and Albania to discuss the Russian strikes. “We need your decision.”

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motive “couldn’t be clearer and colder. … He decided that if he could not take Ukraine by force, he would try to freeze the country into submission.”

But as condemnation of the Russian strikes was widespread, a number of council members from Africa, along with India, China, Brazil and others, expressed concern that what has become near-weekly meetings on the crisis produced little and called for renewed diplomacy. to stop the war.

In addition to what Ukraine’s main electricity grid operator, Ukrenergo, said on its Telegram channel, power cuts in “all regions” of the country, the Energy Ministry said the strikes had also led to temporary shutdowns in all nuclear power plants under Kyiv’s control. as in “the majority of thermal and hydroelectric power stations”.

Electricity was also cut in most of neighboring Moldova, where the power grid is connected to Ukraine. Nicu Popescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, post on Twittersaid he summoned the Russian ambassador for “explanations”.

Ukrainian energy systems on the brink of collapse after weeks of Russian bombardment

Ukraine’s air force said it shot down 51 of 70 missiles launched on Wednesday and also destroyed five self-destructing drones. The Kyiv City Military Administration reported that out of 31 missiles fired at the capital, 22 were intercepted by air defense systems.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko also said the city’s water supply would be temporarily cut off, and as night fell large parts of the city were without power. The strikes also left all of Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, without electricity, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on his Telegram channel.

“While someone is waiting for the results of the World Cup and the number of goals scored, the Ukrainians are waiting for another score – the number of intercepted Russian missiles,” Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter as the bombardment was in progress.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted the bombings serve military purposes and will continue until Moscow’s war aims are achieved.

An early morning missile strike crushed the maternity ward of a hospital in Vilnyansk, a city in Zaporizhzhia region, killing a 2-day-old baby.

The rocket, which Zelensky said was fired by Russia, hit the hospital at 2 a.m. as a mother slept next to the crib of her newborn baby, according to the hospital’s medical director, Valeria Kroshena.

The strike destroyed the second-floor maternity ward and the clinic below, collapsing the building’s brick walls. The blast also injured a doctor who was on duty overnight and who is now recovering from severe burns, Kroshena said.

Another doctor, who delivered the newborn, was off duty and rushed to the hospital as soon as she heard the explosion, according to Kroshena. The doctor knew the only patients in the hospital that night were the mother and her infant son, Kroshena said, and she knew exactly where they were. The mother, in her thirties, was not injured. The boy was her fourth baby, Kroshena said. “It’s unthinkable,” she said.

On Wednesday afternoon, rescuers used diggers to dig out what was left of the maternity ward. Some rooms remained partially standing, with pieces of ceiling collapsed over hospital beds and a cradle. The windows of the neighboring building were blown out and shattered by the explosion.

The missile was a Russian-made S-300, local officials said.

The strike in Vilnyansk, about 20 miles northeast of the regional capital city of Zaporizhzhia, came less than a week after another missile hit a residential building in the same city, killing 11 people. Zaporizhzhia is one of four Ukrainian regions that Putin claimed to be annexed by Russia – a violation of international law.

Despite Putin’s annexation claims, Russia did not occupy the city of Zaporizhzhia and also withdrew from the city of Kherson, the only regional capital it had captured since the start of the invasion in large scale in February.

Two of those killed in the previous strike in Vilnyansk were also young people, aged 10 and 15.

After the Russian withdrawal from the city of Kherson, attention turned to the Zaporizhzhia region as the most likely location for a new Ukrainian counteroffensive, potentially pushing south towards the occupied city of Melitopol and the hydroelectric power station and the critical Kakhovka dam in the Kherson region.

Russian bombs hit Kherson suburb in shadow of destroyed bridge

Wednesday’s vote by the European Parliament, the 27-member legislative body of the European Union, reflected the lingering anger in Brussels and across Europe over Russia’s invasion and the outbreak of war in large scale on the European continent for the first time in the 21st century.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, said Wednesday’s European Parliament resolution violated international law and a state could not be called a terrorist.

“Russia has always firmly opposed the concept of ‘state terrorism,'” Kosachev wrote in a statement posted on Telegram, adding, “The collective West is actively trying to introduce the principle of collective responsibility and punish all “reprehensible” countries and regimes simply because there is an alternative point of view and a different model of behavior.

What Russia has won and lost so far in Ukraine, visualized

In his response to the UN Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said the Russian strikes were designed to weaken “the military capacity of our adversaries” and were carried out with “precision”. He blamed Western-supplied weapons for much of the damage to residential and civilian areas and chastised the international community, saying it had not shown the same concern for what he described as Ukrainian war crimes.

The Pentagon said Wednesday it would fast-track an additional $400 million in military aid for Ukraine, including additional air defenses to counter Russia’s “relentless and brutal” missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure. from the country.

The package contains an undetermined number of ammunition for the two NASAMS surface-to-air systems provided by Washington, as well as 150 heavy machine guns equipped with thermal sights to help Ukrainian forces spot and shoot down unmanned aircraft. More than 200 generator sets will also be sent from US stocks.

Schmidt reported from Vilnyansk. Francesca Ebel in London and Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.


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