Russia attacks Ukraine as EU's top diplomat visits Kyiv
Russia fired cruise and ballistic missiles and Shahed-type drones at six regions across Ukraine on Wednesday morning, authorities reported, killing at least five civilians and injuring almost 40 others, including a pregnant woman.
The attacks hit at least three major cities, including the capital Kyiv, where the European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, was discussing military aid and financial support for Ukraine. He said he started his day in an air raid shelter, calling it part of Ukraine's "daily reality" after almost two years of war.
The West's help is desperately needed by Ukraine, which is struggling with ammunition and personnel shortages. Some long-term foreign funding is also in doubt as the latest effort to clinch a deal on Ukraine aid in the U.S. Senate collapsed Tuesday.
Though the roughly 1,500-kilometer (900-mile) front line has barely budged in recent months, the Kremlin's forces have the upper hand in stocks of missiles and artillery ammunition used for long-range strikes. Russia has repeatedly used missiles to blast civilian targets during the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last month that air defense and electronic warfare systems that can stop drones are Kyiv's top priorities.
Ukraine's Armed Forces said they intercepted 44 drones and missiles out of 64 that were launched in the morning attack.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it used long-range precision weapons and drones to aim at Ukrainian factories that manufacture sea drones, coastal defense missile systems, rockets and explosives. It claimed that all targets were hit.
The barrage killed four people in Kyiv, the State Emergency Service said. It was the first bombardment of Kyiv for two weeks.
The attack also killed a man in Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, where some 20 residential buildings and public infrastructure were damaged, regional Gov. Vitalii Kim said.
Thirty-five people were injured in Kyiv, according to Mayor Vitalii Klitschko, including a pregnant woman.
Apartment buildings caught fire in multiple Kyiv districts, Klitschko said. Two power lines damaged during the attack left some 20,000 households on Kyiv's east bank without power.
It was the first significant power outage in the capital this winter due to Russian air strikes. Last winter, Moscow's forces targeted Kyiv's electricity infrastructure in an apparent attempt to deny residents deny heat, light and running water.
In Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, a 52-year-old woman was slightly injured in an S-300 missile attack, regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said.
Missiles also hit as far away as the Lviv region of western Ukraine, where a fire broke out, officials said.