Russia Launches New Wave Of Air Strikes On Infrastructure In Kyiv

A fresh wave of airstrikes hit Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities early on October 18 for the second straight day, targeting residential areas and energy infrastructure, officials and witnesses said.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said there have been three Russian attacks on an unspecified power plant north of Kyiv.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the attack was on “critical infrastructure” and emergency services were headed there.

Russian troops also shelled power plants in Dnipro and before that in Zhytomyr, and explosions were reported in Kharkiv.

Explosions also shook the cities Kriviy Rih and Mykolayivlocal officials said a day after Russia launched waves of kamikaze drone strikes that killed at least seven people, four of them in Kyiv, and damaged infrastructure in the Ukrainian capital and several other cities across the country.

“Kriviy Rih. Explosions in the northern part of the city. We are in emergency shelters,” Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of the central Ukrainian city’s military administration, said on social media, adding that there have been no reports of casualties or damage so far.

At least one person was killed by night shelling in the southern port of Mykolayiv, Mayor Oleksandr Sienkovych said early October 18.

“As a result of the night shelling of Mykolayiv, a two-story apartment building in the central district of the city was destroyed. Rescuers pulled the body of a 55-year-old man from under the rubble. A flower market was also destroyed in the same area of ​​the city,” Sienkovych said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia again attacked Ukraine with drones late October 17, after a day of strikes in cities that killed at least seven people and a US warning that it would hold Russia accountable for war crimes will pull.

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Early October 18, British Intelligence identified drones used by Russia in the attacks as Iranian-made.

In his late-night speech, Zelenskyy said the armed forces managed to shoot down many missiles and drones.

“But in order to ensure the protection of our skies and reduce the capabilities of Russian terrorists to zero, we need significantly more modern air defense systems and more missile support for such systems.” he said.

He said that Russia had “no chance on the battlefield” and was therefore trying “to cover up its military defeats with terror”.

Russian shelling on Oct. 17 — both the drone strikes and other missile airstrikes — led to fresh power outages, which Zelenskyy said have been fixed. But he also urged Ukrainians to conserve electricity during peak hours.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said in its Daily Intelligence Bulletin on October 18 that Russia’s increased pace of long-range strikes against targets across Ukraine over the past week also included Iran-provided so-called kamikaze drones.

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“[Strikes] were carried out by cruise missiles, air defense missiles in a surface-to-surface role and Iran-provided uncrewed single-use Shahed-136 attack aircraft,” British intelligence said.

US President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters the White House “strongly condemns Russia’s missile attacks” and said the attacks would continue “in demonstration”. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s brutality.”

She said the United States “will continue to order Russia to pay and hold her accountable for its war crimes.”

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The United States, Britain and France agreed that by supplying drones to Russia Iran would violate a UN Security Council resolution approving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six powers.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said Oct. 17 that more than 100 such drones have struck Ukraine over the past week, hitting power plants, sewage treatment plants, bridges and playgrounds.

“A third of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was affected,” according to a ministry expression said.

“We call on Tehran to stop arms supplies to Russia immediately. Otherwise, Iran and its leadership bear the strictest responsibility, including in international court cases dealing with Russia’s crimes against Ukraine.”

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba earlier on Oct. 17 appealed to European Union foreign ministers to impose sanctions on Iran over drone shipments to Russia.

Iran maintained its denial on October 17 that it was supplying the drones to Russia, while the Kremlin has not commented.

Asked for comment, the Iranian mission to the United Nations reiterated an Oct. 14 government statement in which it said it supports compliance with the UN Charter and the UN’s attempts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine to find.

The United States on October 17 warned against cracking down on companies and nations collaborating with Iran’s drone program.

“Anyone doing business with Iran that might have a connection to UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or ballistic missile development or the flow of weapons from Iran to Russia should be very careful and do their due diligence – the US will not hesitate to impose sanctions impose or take action against the perpetrators,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

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“Russia deepening its alliance with Iran is something that the whole world – frankly especially those in the region and around the world – should see as a profound threat,” Patel said.

From RFE/RL

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