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10 Dead After Russia Strikes Zelensky’s Home City

Kyiv has appealed to its allies in the West to deliver a broad range of modern military equipment to help Ukrainian forces recapture large swathes of territory controlled by Russia.


A destroyed five-storey residential building can be seen the site of a night Russian strike, in the city of Kryvyi Rig, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. AFP

 

Russian strikes early Tuesday on the hometown of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky killed ten people, as Moscow said it had captured Western armoured vehicles from Kyiv’s forces.

The strikes overnight hit multiple sites and smashed into a five-storey apartment building in the central city of Kryvyi Rig, leaving smoke billowing from the housing block strewn with debris.

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“Ten people have died. One is under rubble. Twenty-eight are injured and 12 of them are in the city’s hospitals in medium, serious and very serious condition,” said Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of the city’s military administration.

“Rescue operations are ongoing,” he added.

Zelensky said after the strikes that Russian forces were waging a war against “residential buildings, ordinary cities and people”.

He promised Ukrainians that those responsible would be held to account.

“Terrorists will never be forgiven, and they will be held accountable for every missile they launch,” he said in a statement on social media.

Air raid sirens earlier had sounded across Ukraine as the capital Kyiv and the northeast city of Kharkiv also came under missile and drone attacks.

Ukraine’s air force said Russia launched 14 cruise missiles and four Iranian-made drones overnight, with 10 missiles and one drone intercepted.

 ‘Trophies’

In the morning, another missile was fired by Russian forces before being shot down by the Ukrainian air defences.

The fresh wave of attacks came shortly before Moscow claimed to have captured several German Leopard tanks and US Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

The defence ministry released footage showing Russian troops surveying the equipment supplied to Ukraine by Western countries.

“Leopard tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. These are our trophies. Equipment of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Zaporizhzhia region,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

“Servicemen of the Vostok group inspect enemy tanks and infantry fighting vehicles captured in battle.”

Kyiv has appealed to its allies in the West to deliver a broad range of modern military equipment to help Ukrainian forces recapture large swathes of territory controlled by Russia.

The defence ministry said several of the captured vehicles had working engines, suggesting that battles they were involved in had been short and that Ukrainian troops had “fled” their offensive positions.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has asked Australia about the condition of dozens of retired F-18 fighter jets, the country’s ambassador told AFP on Tuesday, eyeing a potential weapons transfer that could significantly bolster Kyiv’s airpower.

 Flooding toll rises

The strikes across Ukraine came shortly after Kyiv claimed to have retaken seven villages and made advances in its counter-offensive against Russian forces.

Military spokesman Andriy Kovalyov said the area of the recaptured land in the eastern and southern regions amounted to “more than 100 square kilometres” (40 square miles).

The commander of Ukrainian ground forces, Colonel Oleksandr Syrskyi, said troops were continuing “the defence operation in the Bakhmut sector”, scene of the longest battle of the offensive.

“Our soldiers are advancing, and the enemy is losing ground on the flanks,” he said.

On Monday, Zelensky said Ukraine was making small gains in a “tough” counter-offensive.

Kyiv’s ambitions to capture more territory further south have been complicated after the destruction of a major dam in southern Ukraine, inundating huge swathes of land under Russian and Ukrainian control.

The toll in Russian-controlled territory from the Kakhovka dam breach last week — which Kyiv and its allies believe was an act of Russian sabotage — has since risen to 17, Moscow-installed officials announced Tuesday.

“As of this morning, 12 dead were confirmed in Gola Prystan and five in Oleshky,” Andrei Alekseyenko, head of the Russian-installed government in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, said on social media.

AFP