Russia has hit cities across Ukraine with a sustained missile barrage, partially collapsing a nine-story residential building in the central city of Dnipro.
At least 12 people have been killed and 64 injured in strikes in an industrial city of more than 1 million people, Ukrainian officials said.
Dozens of missile attacks were reported Saturday in cities across Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, Kharkov in the east, Odessa in the south and Lviv in the far west.
Kirilo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky government, said 28 houses in the Kyiv region were damaged, but no one was injured.
Germany’s Garshchenko, Ukraine’s energy minister, said power infrastructure had been damaged in six states, causing new blackouts.
Russia began targeting Ukraine’s power infrastructure in the fall after invading forces were driven out of much of the country’s eastern and southern regions, causing power and heating blackouts.
In an evening address to the nation, Zelensky urged Western supporters in Kyiv to step up their arms supply, saying, “We will do everything to stop ‘Russism’ as the free world once did to stop Nazism.” I have to,” he said.
“I would like to hear not only from political leaders, but also from those who are still hesitant about whether it is worthwhile to provide Ukraine with the weapons that will help defeat the terrorist state this year,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Twitter: A residential building hit. Russians continue to fight civilians, claiming the lives and futures of the Ukrainian people. “
“Russia is a terrorist state,” Yermak added.
Ukrainian officials said on Saturday that fighting continued over the eastern town of Soledar, refuting Russia’s claims that it had been occupied by Ukrainian forces in recent days.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleva has urged Ukrainian allies to tighten sanctions against Russia and provide more modern NATO-class weapons.
“Each barrage of missiles depletes Russia’s inventory even more. But they can still produce new ones. I have to!” Kleba tweeted.
The Ukrainian Air Force Command said 25 of 38 Russian missiles fired on Saturday were intercepted.
Ukrainian air defenses have intercepted the majority of incoming Russian missiles and kamikaze drones in recent months, including a massive barrage of more than 80 missiles fired in one day.
However, Ukraine is urging the US and European nations to provide modern air defenses as its stock of Soviet-era S300 and Buk surface-to-air missiles is rapidly depleted.
Kyiv recently received several Nasam systems from the US and Norway, as well as one Iris-T unit from Germany. The United States announced late last year that it would provide a long-range Patriot system capable of intercepting ballistic missiles, a capability that Ukraine currently lacks.
In a call to Prime Minister Zelensky on Saturday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reiterated a promise made earlier this year to provide Ukraine with Challenger 2 tanks.
In a subsequent statement, the British government said it would send a company of 14 tanks to Ukraine “within the next few weeks”, followed by about 30 AS90 self-propelled guns. In the next few days, we will begin training Ukrainian soldiers to use this equipment.
“British defense and security officials believe that supply problems and plummeting morale have opened a window where Russia has fallen behind,” the statement said. “Therefore, the Prime Minister encourages allies to deploy their planned support for 2023 as soon as possible to maximize impact.”
Polish and Finnish officials recently announced their intention to supply Ukraine with German-made Leopard tanks. However, Berlin has not yet expressed its approval of such material from third parties.