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War in Ukraine: missile and drone attacks launched against Russia

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A photo of a damaged house shared by a Russian official in what he says was a Ukrainian attack on Belgorod

Ukraine has carried out a series of deadly airstrikes on targets in southwest Russia over the past 24 hours, according to Russian officials.

Latest reports show four people killed in Belgorod and Bryansk, including children.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said it had destroyed dozens of missiles and drones fired into its territory by Ukraine.

These attacks follow Russian strikes against Ukraine which killed 39 people.

Nearly 160 people were injured in Russian attacks with missiles and drones on Friday, including in the capital kyiv, Odessa, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Lviv.

The strikes were described by kyiv as the largest Russian missile bombardment in the war against Ukraine so far.

In a statement released Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said nearly 120 villages and towns had been attacked, including hundreds of “civilian objects” damaged.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitchsko said seven more bodies had been pulled from the rubble of a stricken warehouse, bringing the city’s total death toll to 16.

He described Friday’s attacks on Ukraine as the deadliest for civilians in the capital, saying a day of mourning would be held in kyiv on Monday.

The Russian border region of Belgorod has previously been the subject of suspected Ukrainian attacks.

The city of Belgorod – its administrative center – is 80 km north of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which itself came under heavy fire from Russian forces on Friday morning.

A first statement from the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that 13 missiles had been destroyed across the region overnight.

Later, he said that 32 drones were shot down overnight in the Bryansk, Oryol, Kursk and Moscow regions.

The regional governor said two children were killed in Belgorod on Saturday and several other people were injured.

He earlier said a man died in the city after a house was hit. He added that four people were being treated for their injuries and the water supply in the town of Belgorod was interrupted.

The governor of the Bryansk region said two villages were targeted and a child, born in 2014, was killed.

He said the attacks damaged 55 homes, two private businesses, a football field, a leisure center and a nursery school.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of being behind drone strikes in recent months, although Ukraine has not claimed responsibility.

Ukrainian media reports that more than 70 drones were used in Friday’s strikes and that only military targets were attacked, citing Ukrainian intelligence sources.

Reports indicate that explosions were heard in areas including Moscow, Belgorod, Tula and Tver, while in Bryansk, a group of drones managed to hit an electronics factory used to manufacture Russian military equipment like rocket missiles. long range and anti-aircraft systems.

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday evening overwhelmingly condemned Russia’s new massive bombing campaign in Ukraine and said the attacks must stop “immediately”.

Countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and France have said hitting civilian infrastructure violates international rules of war.

“Rather than peace, Putin has chosen to mark this holiday season (…) with an unprecedented number of drone and missile attacks,” declared the American representative to the UN, John Kelley.

Russia said Ukrainian air defenses were responsible for the damage to civilian buildings.

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