Russia The Ukrainian capital attacked Kyiv for the first time in weeks, targeting at least two apartment buildings.
City reporters reported seeing rescue services battling fires and rescuing civilians in the early hours of Sunday, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said two people were injured and a seven-year-old girl had been pulled from the rubble.
“According to preliminary data, 14 missiles were launched against Kyiv and Kyiv region,” Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko wrote in the Telegram messaging app.
Prior to the attack, Kyiv had not suffered a Russian airstrike since June 5.
Meanwhile, Russian forces attempt to consolidate their gains to the east, engulfing the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the Luhansk region after Ukrainian forces withdrew from the charred ruins of Severodonetsk.
The military said Moscow-backed separatists now had full control of the chemical plant, which was the last Ukrainian stronghold in the city.
On Saturday, Russia launched dozens of missiles into several areas of the country far from the heart of the eastern battles.
Ukraine’s air command said some of the missiles were fired by Russian Tu-22 long-range bombers deployed from Belarus for the first time.
The attack was preceded by a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, during which Putin announced that Russia planned to supply Belarus with the Iskander-M missile system.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said late Saturday that separatist forces backed by Russia and Moscow now control Severodonetsk and surrounding villages.
He said the attempt by Ukrainian forces to turn the nitrogen plant into a “tenacious center of resistance” had been thwarted.
Serhiy Hayday, governor of Luhansk province, confirmed on Friday that Ukrainian forces were withdrawing from Severodonetsk after weeks of shelling and house-to-house fighting.
On Saturday, he said the city had fallen to Russian fighters and separatists, who he said were now trying to encircle Lyschansk from the south. The city is located across the river to the west of Sievierodonetsk.
Taking Lysichansk would give Russian forces control of all major settlements in the province, an important step towards Russia’s goal of capturing all of Donbass. The Russians and the separatists control about half of Donetsk, the second province of Donbass.
Andrei Maruchko, a spokesman for the separatist forces, was quoted by Russian news agency Interfax as saying that Russian forces and separatist fighters had entered Lyschansk and fighting was taking place in the heart of the city.
There was no immediate comment on the Ukrainian side’s claim.
Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk were at the center of the Russian offensive aimed at capturing all the islands of Donbass and destroying the Ukrainian army defending them – the most capable and hardest-to-fight part of the country’s armed forces.
Russian bombardments reduced most of the Severodonetsk region to rubble and reduced its population from 100,000 to 10,000.
South Ukraine Ukraine’s military said nine missiles fired from Crimea on the Black Sea coast hit the port city of Mykolaiv on Saturday.
To the north, around twenty missiles were launched from Belarus into the Chernihiv region.
Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said the Russian bombers’ first use of Belarusian airspace in Saturday’s attack was “directly linked to the Kremlin’s attempts to drag Belarus into war”.
Belarus hosts Russian military units and served as a springboard before Russia invaded Ukraine, but its forces did not cross the border.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address that as the five-day war, which Moscow expects to last, enters its fifth month, “Russia felt compelled to put on such a show of missile”.
He said the war was at a difficult stage, “when we know the enemy will not succeed, when we understand that we can defend our country, but we don’t know how long it will take, how many attacks, of casualties and effort there will be before we can actually see victory on our horizon.” .
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