At least 31 Ukrainians dead and over 100 wounded in recent Russian missile strikes

At least 31 Ukrainians dead and over 100 wounded in recent Russian missile strikes

At least 31 Ukrainians have been killed and over 100 wounded in recent Russian missile strikes, marking one of the deadliest assaults since the invasion began. The attacks targeted multiple cities, including Kherson and Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Among the victims were a 10-year-old girl and her mother, highlighting the indiscriminate nature of the strikes.

In Kryvyi Rih, two Iskander ballistic missiles hit a residential building and a university, resulting in six deaths and at least 75 injuries. The head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Administration reported that one of the deceased was found trapped in the rubble of a destroyed laboratory at the university. In Kherson, two separate strikes killed at least four people and injured 17, including a minor in serious condition. One of the victims was a utility worker.

The strikes coincided with a meeting between Ukrainian and Croatian foreign ministers in Kyiv, where they discussed using Croatian ports to export Ukrainian grain. This comes in the wake of the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal, which had allowed ships carrying Ukrainian grain to safely pass through the Black Sea. Analysts warn that global food prices could spike due to the disruption in grain exports.

In addition to the missile strikes, Kharkiv experienced at least three drone attacks overnight, one of which hit a dormitory. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that no truce talks or negotiations would halt Russia’s assaults, urging allies to provide necessary military and financial support.

The Kremlin has accused Kyiv of being behind drone strikes in Moscow and Russian-annexed Crimea, which Russia claims to have thwarted. Zelensky stated that such attacks are “inevitable,” although Ukrainian officials have neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported intercepting a drone southwest of Moscow and two others that crashed in the capital. No casualties were reported, but two office towers were slightly damaged. In Crimea, Russian forces claimed to have intercepted and downed 25 Ukrainian drones, again reporting no casualties or damage.

Zelensky warned that Russian forces might resume attacks on Ukraine’s energy facilities to prevent a repeat of last winter when Russian attacks crippled Ukraine’s power grid. Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko mentioned that Ukraine is using new methods to boost its grid ahead of winter but did not provide specifics.

On the global stage, Kyiv is set to begin discussions on long-term security measures with Washington, following a recent agreement with the Group of Seven nations. The plan will be discussed in three phases, culminating in a meeting of heads of state. Zelensky reiterated Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, although he acknowledged that membership would not be possible until the war ends.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is expected to attend a Ukrainian-backed peace summit in Saudi Arabia. Russia will not be attending the summit, which aims to align positions on how to end the war.

Pope Francis has called on Russia to restore the Black Sea Grain Initiative, urging the safe transport of grain. “I appeal to my brothers, the authorities of the Russian Federation, so that the Black Sea initiative may be resumed and grain may be transported safely,” he said during his Angelus prayer.

The recent attacks have drawn widespread condemnation. A senior United Nations official told the Security Council that the strikes must stop immediately, emphasizing that attacks against civilian populations and infrastructure are unacceptable. The UN reported that the war has resulted in 29,113 civilian casualties since the invasion began, with the actual figures likely higher.

Several Security Council members condemned the attacks, calling for their immediate cessation and expressing concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine, especially with the onset of winter. The representative of the United States stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s objectives remain unchanged: to obliterate Ukraine and subjugate its people.

The representative of the Russian Federation, however, blamed Ukrainian anti-air defense systems for the civilian casualties, claiming that if these systems had not operated, there would have been no victims. He added that Ukraine is merely a private military company in the hands of Western countries.

Ukraine’s representative listed the civilian targets hit by Russian missiles, including a maternity ward, educational facilities, a shopping mall, and residential buildings. He emphasized that even a single missile or drone that is not intercepted can cause great harm.

Outgoing Security Council members underscored the importance of dialogue and peace in the coming year. The representative of Ghana stated that there can be no military solution to the conflict, while Brazil’s representative called for diplomatic negotiations and compliance with international law to achieve lasting peace.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates stressed that the war must end to prevent further regional and global instability. “It is our sincere hope that 2024 is a more peaceful year than 2023,” he said, adding that this will not happen without bold decisions that prioritize peace over escalation.

Source: The Washington Post, Forbes, United Nations

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top