New Delhi: In a show of power as President Vladimir Putin bid farewell to his visiting “dear friend” and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Russia on Wednesday destroyed an apartment block in Ukraine with missiles and swamped cities with drone attacks overnight.
Firefighters battled a blaze in two adjacent residential buildings in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, where officials claimed a double missile attack killed at least one person and injured 33 others, Reuters reported.
According to regional police chief Andrii Nebytov, a drone struck two dorms and a college in the riverside town of Rzhyshchiv, south of Kyiv, leaving at least eight people dead and seven injured.
During the night, sirens blared across the capital and parts of northern Ukraine, and the military said it had shot down 16 of 21 Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones, Reuters reported.
“This must not become ‘just another day’ in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world. The world needs greater unity and determination to defeat Russian terror faster and protect lives,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted, with security camera video showing one building exploding.
Zelenskiy in a nightly video address, said, “It is painful to see the cities of Donbas … to which Russia has brought terrible suffering and ruin,” referring to the larger eastern region around Bakhmut that Russia claims as its territory.
Meanwhile, Nato’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with the Guardian, said that Vladimir Putin has no immediate plans for peace in Ukraine, therefore, the West must ready itself to supply lethal aid to Kyiv for a long time to come.
Stoltenberg told the Guardian, “President Putin doesn’t plan for peace, he’s planning for more war,” adding that Russia was increasing military industrial production and “reaching out to authoritarian regimes like Iran or North Korea, and others to try to get more weapons”.
As a result, the US, UK, France, Germany, and other western states had to be prepared to support Ukraine with weapons, ammunition, and spares over a long time. “The need will continue to be there, because this is a war of attrition; this is about industrial capacity to sustain the support,” the secretary general said.