Russia Strikes Cities Across Ukraine 09/21 06:21
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russian missiles and artillery pounded cities across
Ukraine early Thursday, sparking fires, killing at least two people and
trapping others under rubble, authorities said, as Ukrainian ally Poland said
it would stop providing weapons amid a trade dispute.
The early morning wave of missile strikes on what's known as the
International Day of Peace was Russia's largest in over a month, and came amid
the United Nations General Assembly summit in New York, where Ukrainian
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had denounced Russia as "a terrorist state."
Zelenskyy, who delivered a speech presenting a Ukrainian "peace formula,"
was to meet Thursday with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders in
Washington with an additional $24 billion aid package hanging in the balance.
Poland, which has been a major supporter of Ukraine, said it would stop
transferring its own weapons to its neighbor as it works to modernize its own
military, but denied the decision was linked to a simmering dispute over a
temporary ban on Ukrainian grain imports.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the decision would not affect
NATO and U.S. weapons transfers through Poland.
"We are no longer transferring any weapons to Ukraine because now we will
arm ourselves with the most modern weapons," he said in an interview on the
private TV broadcaster Polsat News late Wednesday.
A dispute about whether Ukrainian grain should be allowed to enter the
domestic markets of Poland and other European Union countries has pushed the
tight relationship between Kyiv and Warsaw to its lowest point since Russia
invaded Ukraine last year.
Morawiecki stressed that Poland would defend its economic interests, but
added that the dispute over grain imports would not hurt Ukraine's security.
"We are not going to risk the security of Ukraine," he said. Poland has
transferred large amounts of its older weapons to Ukraine and has been
upgrading its own inventory with new equipment purchased from South Korea and
Air raid sirens sounded repeatedly across Ukraine, as Russia launched dozens
of missiles and, near the front lines, likely used shorter-range artillery to
pound the southern city of Kherson. Two people were killed in Kherson Thursday
and at least five injured after a residential building was hit, said regional
Governor Oleksand Prokudin.
Seven people were injured in Kyiv, including a 9-year-old girl, Mayor
Vitalii Klitschko said, as missile strikes blew out windows in buildings and
cars and left fires burning around crumpled metal wreckage.
Marharyta Moldokova, 76, who had taken shelter on the floor of her Kyiv home
just before hearing the explosion and sound of her window shattering, denounced
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"God, we can't wait for someone to shoot him," she said. "Everything is not
enough for him. ... What does he need?"
Students at the National Academy of Statistics, Accounting and Audit in Kyiv
stood outdoors looking at a building where metal strips hung from the portico
and empty window frames were bent inward.
Illia Melnyk said he had taken shelter behind two walls as he heard an
explosion and saw a flash and then ran outside.
"When I came out, I saw bricks falling from the door," he said. "It was
visible how the wall was broken and the door was knocked out. ... It was scary."
The academy, located in Kyiv's cozy Tatarka neighborhood, has endured
numerous missile strikes and damage from falling debris. It is located near an
arms maker that manufactures high-precision ammunition and missiles.
The Ukrainian Air Force said it had intercepted 36 of 43 cruise missiles
launched deep into Ukraine. Kharkiv, closer to the front lines, was struck with
At least six strikes damaged civilian infrastructure in the Slobidskyi
district of Kharkiv, said regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov. The city's mayor
added that two people had been hospitalized.
At least 10 people were injured and at least one person was rescued from
under rubble in Cherkasy, in central Ukraine, according to Ihor Klymenko,
minister of internal affairs of Ukraine. Up to 23 people may still be buried
under rubble, said Cherkasy regional Governor Ihor Taburets. Rescue services
were working to clear the debris.
An industrial zone was hit in the western region of Lviv, damaging buildings
and starting a fire, but no information on casualties was immediately
available, Klymenko added.
Regional Governor Vitalii Koval reported strikes in the city of Rivne in the
northwest region of the same name, without immediately providing details.
Russia's Ministry of Defense said 22 drones were taken down overnight by air
defense systems, 19 above Russian-annexed Crimea and three others in the Kursk,
Belgorod and Oryol regions near Ukraine. The defense ministry did not say
whether there were any casualties.