Russia attacks homes and dormitories, killing civilians
KIEV, Ukraine — Russia on Wednesday stepped up missile and drone attacks on Ukraine, killing students and other civilians in a violent follow-up to duels at high-level diplomatic missions aimed at bringing peace after 13 months of war.
“Russia is shelling the city with bestial ferocity,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote in a Telegram post that accompanied video showing what he said was a Russian missile hitting a nine-story apartment building on a busy street in the southeastern city of Zaporizhia met. “Residential areas where ordinary people and children live are being shelled.”
At least one person was killed in the attack shown in Zaporizhia’s video, which appears to have been captured by surveillance cameras.
Elsewhere, Moscow’s forces launched exploding drones before sunrise, killing at least eight people in or near a student dormitory near Kiev.
Ukrainian media showed multiple perspectives of the rocket raining down on an apartment building across from a shopping center in Zaporizhzhia, creating a huge plume of gray and black smoke, with bits of concrete flying into the air as cars sped by.
Videos showed the violent outcome of the attack: charred apartments, flames and smoke billowing from several floors of the buildings, and piles of broken concrete and broken glass on the ground.
Two children were among the wounded, Zaporizhzhia City Council secretary Anatolii Kurtiev said, adding that 25 people required hospital treatment, three of them in critical condition.
The city of Zaporizhia is about 60 miles from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which was threatened during the war and shut down for months.
The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency reported that the plant suffered another loss of an external backup power source.
Its six reactors still require electricity to cool nuclear fuel and relied on only one primary source on Wednesday, the IAEA said.
Russia has denied attacking residential areas, although artillery and rocket attacks hit homes and civilian infrastructure daily.
Russian officials have blamed Ukraine’s air defenses for some of the deadliest attacks on apartments, saying deploying air defense systems in residential areas puts civilians at risk.
Russia also sometimes claims that Ukraine hides military equipment and personnel in civilian buildings.
The war that Russia began on February 24, 2022 has developed in two main directions: a front line mainly in eastern Ukraine centered around the town of Bakhmut, and regular Russian missile and drone strikes across the country.
In addition, Ukrainian sabotage attacks across the border into Russia have been launched regularly, albeit unconfirmed.
The battles at the front largely came to a standstill in the winter, with major offensives on both sides being expected in the more favorable spring weather.
Earlier Wednesday, a drone strike damaged a high school and two dormitories in the town of Rzhyshchiv, south of the Ukrainian capital, officials said.
It was not clear how many people were in the dormitories at the time.
According to regional police chief Andrii Nebytov was among the bodies of a 40-year-old man pulled from the rubble of a floor, adding that more than 20 people were hospitalized.
The video showed what appeared to be a bloody sneaker and a green ball on the ground near a damaged building, with the top floor demolished at a corner.
The attacks occurred while dueling diplomatic missions were being conducted.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida left Kyiv after meeting Zelenskyy to support Ukraine.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping left Moscow after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Beijing’s peace proposal, which the West dismissed as a non-starter.
No progress towards peace was reported.
US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson noted the violent turn of events.
“Just a day after Russia called for peace, Russia is attacking Ukrainian homes as part of its brutal war,” she said in Washington. “What Russia is doing is appalling – and we are committed to continuing to help Ukraine defend itself against this Russian aggression.”
Drone fire and other Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure prompted a devastating response from Zelenskyy as well.
“Over 20 murderous Iranian drones plus missiles, numerous shelling incidents, all in a final night of Russian terror,” he tweeted in English. “Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order for such criminal strikes is issued there.”
The Zaporizhia regional administration said two rockets hit the block of flats and said Russia’s aim was “to frighten the civilian population of the thousand city”.
“It’s hell in Zaporizhia,” Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Goncharenko wrote on Telegram, adding, “There are no military facilities nearby.”
Vladimir Rogov, an official at the Moscow-appointed regional administration for the Russian-occupied part of the Zaporizhia region, claimed without evidence that a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, launched to intercept a Russian missile, hit the apartment complex.
In other attacks, Ukraine’s air defenses shot down 16 of the 21 drones launched by Russia, Ukraine’s general staff said.
Eight were shot down near the capital, according to the city’s military administration.
Other drones attacked the west-central Khmelnytskyi province.
Also on Wednesday Zelenskyy made another in a series of battlefield visits, meeting with soldiers and officers in the eastern Donetsk region, stopping at a hospital to see wounded troops and lending to the defenders of Bakhmut, a devastated city , which has become a symbol, state awards of Ukraine’s stubborn resistance under the threat of Russian encirclement and for months has been the scene of the bloodiest and longest battles of the war.
Zelensky’s last known visit to the Bakhmut area was in December. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian President also visited Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which his forces recaptured from the Russians last September.
For other developments:
– The Russian military repelled a drone attack on the main port of the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters city, Sevastopol, early Wednesday, Moscow-appointed head of the city Mikhail Razvozhayev reported.
He said the Navy destroyed three water drones, Russian warships were not damaged and several civilian installations were damaged when the drones hit and exploded.
The blasts shattered windows in several buildings near the port.
No injuries were reported. Ukrainian officials took no responsibility for the attack.
— Three people were injured in a Russian rocket attack on a monastery in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa on Tuesday night.
According to the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Andrii Yermak, two out of four rockets were shot down.
– Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, which Putin chairs, when asked on his messaging app channel whether the threat of a nuclear conflict has decreased, replied: “No, it hasn’t decreased, it has increased. Every day they deliver foreign arms to Ukraine brings the nuclear apocalypse closer.”
– Ukraine’s Treasury Ministry agreed a $15.6 billion loan package with the International Monetary Fund aimed at bolstering the country’s economy, which has been crippled by the invasion.
Ukrainian officials hope the IMF deal will encourage its allies to provide financial support as well.
– US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told a House committee in Washington that her agency had imposed more than 2,500 Russia-related sanctions and “impaired the Kremlin’s ability to replace more than 9,000 pieces of heavy military equipment lost on the battlefield.” has”.
https://nypost.com/2023/03/23/ukraine-russia-hits-apartments-and-dorm-killing-civilians/ Russia attacks homes and dormitories, killing civilians