Russia pummels Ukraine with missiles and drone strikes, injuring civilians

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KYIV, Ukraine — Grief from military failures and its apparent isolation in a week of major global gatherings, Russia on Thursday unleashed its second major missile attack on Ukraine in three days, accusing Kiev of refusing peace talks and warning of further attacks on critical infrastructure .

Thursday’s attacks injured dozens of civilians and damaged infrastructure in the country’s south and east, including gas facilities, Ukrainian officials said, as Russia sought to downgrade Ukraine’s economy and its will to fight during the country’s frigid winter months. undermined. The first snow fell in Kiev on Thursday.

The bombing was the latest in a brutal assault on Ukraine’s energy systems that began early last month, and it reflected Moscow’s limited strategic options after a series of battlefield defeats, including its withdrawal from the city of Kherson in the south.

With its ground forces battered and losing territory, Russia has resorted to long-range bombing as it struggles to train and equip tens of thousands of new conscripts, many of whom may not feel like fighting in the Russian army’s failing war. president Vladimir Putin.

After most leaders of the Group of 20 at a summit in Indonesia this week strongly condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attempted Thursday to shift the blame to Kiev for the lack of electricity and heat in many parts of the country. Ukraine. direct result of Russia’s military attacks.

The blackouts occurred because of “the unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to solve the problem, to enter into negotiations,” Peskov said. Speaking to reporters, he claimed that Russia had only hit targets of military importance and warned that Moscow would achieve its goals in Ukraine through peace talks or continued military action.

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“First they negotiate, then they refuse to negotiate, then they pass a law that prohibits any kind of negotiations, then they say they want negotiations, but public ones,” Peskov said, defying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call. to conduct negotiations. in public.

There seems little or no willingness to give up ground on either side, with Moscow insisting that Ukrainian territory it illegally annexed will forever be Russian land. Ukraine, meanwhile, is demanding Russia’s complete withdrawal from all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

The restoration of territorial sovereignty was part of a 10-point peace plan Zelensky presented to G-20 leaders this week. The plan also called for Russia to make reparations.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday accused Kiev of setting conditions for talks, which he said proved Ukraine was not interested in negotiating.

But Ryabkov said Russia’s commitment to its unquestioning territorial integrity was unwavering, including “within the constituent territories recently admitted to the Russian Federation.” This was not the same as setting conditions for talks, he said.

Ukrainian officials said Thursday’s continued bombing showed the hollowness of Russia’s claims it is willing to negotiate.

As a small sign of compromise, Russia on Thursday agreed to a Turkey-brokered 120-day extension of a grain export deal, allowing Ukraine to ship grain from three ports, after Moscow previously threatened not to renew the deal.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it was a “technical extension” of the deal, with no objection.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that he has made commitments to continue with the agreement, which is considered crucial to avoiding a global food crisis.

“It is clear how important and beneficial this agreement is to the world’s food supply and security, with more than 11 million tons of grains and food delivered to people in need by nearly 500 ships in the past four months. Erdogan said in a statement. He expressed his gratitude to Putin and Zelensky, as well as to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres.

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During a brutal fusillade Tuesday, Russia launched more than 90 missiles and 11 Iranian drones against Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials. A missile – now believed to have come from Ukrainian air defenses – landed in eastern Poland and killed two men in the village of Przewodow.

Zelensky insisted on Wednesday that the missile that hit Poland was not launched by his army, saying he had “no doubt about it”, despite intelligence and initial investigations announced by Polish President Andrzej Duda and NATO. Duda visited the scene of the incident on Thursday, but indicated that Ukraine will probably not be able to participate in the investigation any time soon.

However, Zelensky’s position was refuted by President Biden in the early hours of Thursday.

When asked about Zelensky’s claim following his disembarkation from Marine One shortly after returning to the White House from Indonesia’s Group of 20 leaders summit, Biden said, “That’s not the evidence.”

Barely half an hour later, at 8 a.m. local time in Ukraine, air raid sirens blared throughout the country.

And about an hour after that, local authorities reported that Ukraine’s air defenses shot down Russian missiles and drones but hit some energy and industrial infrastructure targets.

In Dnipro, a regional capital in central Ukraine, dashboard camera footage showed a giant explosion in the center of a city street as vehicles drove down a main road. Zelensky posted the video, which The Washington Post was unable to independently verify right away.

“Morning. A peaceful city and people’s desire to live a normal life. Go to work, on business. Missile strike!” Zelensky wrote in a commentary accompanying the video.

Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, posted on his Telegram channel that Russian missiles hit two districts of Dnipro, causing a “big fire” and damaging residential buildings. He said 14 people were hospitalized with injuries, including a 15-year-old girl.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told an economic conference in Kiev on Thursday that the Russians “bombed our Dnipro enterprises,” including the aerospace manufacturer Pivdenmash.

The missile in Poland was an accident, says NATO. But the overflow fear remains.

Oleksiy Chernyshov, the head of Ukraine’s state energy company Naftogaz, said in a statement Thursday that Russia had launched a “massive attack” on the company’s gas production infrastructure. “Currently, several destroyed objects are known. Others have suffered varying degrees of damage,” Chernyshov said.

Other parts of the country also reported destruction and casualties. On the Black Sea coast, authorities reported that three people were injured in attacks in the Odessa region. Military officials said the Russians launched cruise missiles from the Black Sea and from two Su-30 bombers. Six missiles were shot down, they said.

Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov said four missiles hit critical infrastructure in eastern Ukraine’s Izyum region. Eight people were injured, the regional prosecutor’s office said.

Kyiv’s military government posted on Telegram that air defenses had shot down four missiles and five self-exploding drones, but said there had been no attacks on buildings or infrastructure.

However, the governor of the Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, said the electricity situation was “difficult” and planned blackouts were planned.

But even as the missiles flew, Erdogan announced on Thursday that he had made commitments to continue with the interim deal to protect Ukraine’s grain exports from Black Sea ports — an agreement seen as crucial to a . global food crisis.

“As a result of the quadrilateral talks organized by Turkey, the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement was extended for 120 days from November 19, 2022, in accordance with the decision reached between Turkey, the United Nations, the Russian Federation and Ukraine ,” Erdogan said in a statement.

Dixon reported from Riga, Latvia. Zeynep Karatas in Istanbul and Loveday Morris in Przewodow, Poland, contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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