Russian attacks on Ukraine reported; at least 11 dead
Russian forces fired another rash of missiles and self-exploding drones in nearly a dozen provinces of Ukraine early Thursday, causing the first attack-related death of the year in Kyiv and killing at least 11 people in all, according to Ukrainian authorities.
The attacks adhered to Russia’s recent pattern of striking power plants and other critical infrastructure about every two weeks. However, the latest onslaught came after Germany and the United States upped the ante in Russia’s 11-month war by promising Wednesday to send high-tech battle tanks to Ukraine and green-lighting other allies to do the same.
The spokesperson for Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, said that in addition to the dead the casualties included at least 11 people who were wounded .
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person was killed during the attacks, the city’s first such death since New Year’s Eve. Two others were injured, he said. The head of the Kyiv city administration, Serhii Popko, said Ukrainian air defences shot down 15 cruise missiles heading to the area.
The regional prosecutor’s office in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia province said three people were killed and seven injured in a strike on an energy facility. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, said Thursday’s volley involved a total of 55 missiles, of which 47 were intercepted.
It was the first such barrage of Russian fire power across the country since January 14.
The attacks came a day after Germany said it would supply 14 high-tech Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and authorise other European countries to send up to 88 more. The US said it planned to ship 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukrainian forces.
Along with Germany and the US, Britain, Poland, the Netherlands and Sweden are among the nations that have sent or announced plans to supply hundreds of tanks and heavy armoured vehicles to fortify Ukraine as it enters a new phase of the war and tries to break through entrenched Russian lines.