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Ukraine war: Russia’s deadliest air strike in weeks kills 17 in Chernihiv, as Kyiv seeks more defence support

WorldUkraine war: Russia’s deadliest air strike in weeks kills 17 in Chernihiv, as Kyiv seeks more defence support


Three Russian missiles on Wednesday slammed into the centre of Chernihiv, a city in northern Ukraine near the Russian border, killing at least 17 people, wounding dozens more and damaging civilian buildings, officials said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Kyiv’s allies to rush in air defence support after the city, which had a pre-war population of 300,000, became the latest target of an intensifying Russian air strike campaign.

“This would not have happened if Ukraine had received sufficient air defence equipment and if the world’s determination to counter Russian terror had been sufficient,” Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

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Videos obtained by Reuters showed flames and columns of black smoke rising over Chernihiv, which is about 150km (95 miles) from the capital Kyiv and about 80km (50 miles) from the Russian border.

Three explosions ripped through a busy central area of the city just after 9am local time, destroying a hotel, officials said.

The strike also damaged several multi-storey residential buildings, a hospital, an education facility and dozens of private cars, officials said.

“Unfortunately, Russia continues to engage in terrorist activity against civilians and civilian infrastructure, as confirmed by this strike on Chernihiv once again,” acting mayor Oleksandr Lomako said on national television.

I haven’t come to my senses fully yet, and I don’t understand everything that happened. The main thing for me is that my child in school was in a basement [shelter]

Iryna, local resident

Sixty people, including three children, were wounded, the emergency services said.

Russia, which denies targeting civilians, attacked with three Iskander cruise missiles, governor Vyacheslav Chaus told the Suspilne public broadcaster.

“I haven’t come to my senses fully yet, and I don’t understand everything that happened. The main thing for me is that my child in school was in a basement [shelter],” local resident Iryna, 35, told Reuters.

“The school is nearby, and I was most worried for them to have enough time to go down.”

09:43

Ukraine war two years on: disease, displacement and demands for aid

Ukraine war two years on: disease, displacement and demands for aid

Schools are equipped with shelters in basements for children and teachers to take cover there.

As civilians cleared up glass and debris with shovels near residential houses, local doctors urged residents to donate blood and city officials declared a day of mourning.

Ukraine is facing an acute shortage of ammunition, including air defence systems and missiles, with vital funding from the US blocked by Republicans in Congress for months and the EU failing to deliver munitions on time.

Russia has taken advantage of these delays in recent weeks, intensifying its attacks on Ukrainian cities and targeting the energy sector and other critical infrastructure.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba voiced gratitude to Germany for providing an additional, third Patriot air defence battery, urging the country’s other allies to follow suit.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and has launched thousands of missiles and drones against Ukrainian cities, towns and villages in attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians.



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