Russia launched around 100 missiles on Ukraine as G-20 leaders meet, at least one killed in Kyiv

Firefighters putting out a blaze in a residential building that was hit by a Russian strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Nov 15, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

KYIV - Russia pounded cities and energy facilities across Ukraine in a new wave of missile strikes on Tuesday as leaders of the Group of 20 (G-20) nations met in Bali for a summit dominated by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“Around 100 missiles have already been launched,” air force spokesman Yuri Ignat told Ukrainian television. “The occupiers (Russian forces) surpassed Oct 10, when they launched 84 missiles.”

“Critical infrastructure facilities are their primary target. Some missiles were shot down, but information on that needs to be clarified,” he added.

The cities attacked included the capital Kyiv, Lviv and Rivne in the west, Kharkiv in the northeast, Kryvyi Rih and Poltava in the centre, Odesa in the south and Zhytomyr in the north. At least one person was killed.

The strikes began just when Western countries at the G-20 summit sought agreement on a statement condemning Russia’s invasion after a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Zelensky warned Ukrainians they could face more Russian missile strikes after a wave of attacks, but said the country would survive.

“I know that the (missile) strikes turned off energy in many places ... We are working, we will restore everything, we will survive,” he said in a video posted online.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba depicted the attacks as Russia’s response to calls for peace talks.

“Russian missiles are killing people and ruining infrastructure across Ukraine right now. This is what Russia has to say on the issue of peace talks. Stop proposing Ukraine to accept Russian ultimatums! This terror can only be stopped with the strength of our weapons & principles,” he wrote on Twitter.

He urged G-20 leaders to give a “principled reaction”, adding: “And please avoid ‘calling on both sides’. Take the side of people, not war criminals.”

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said a body had been pulled out of a residential building, one of the two buildings that was hit in the central Pechersk district. At least half of the population of Kyiv had no electricity as a result of emergency shutdowns following the strikes.

A Reuters correspondent who arrived on the scene after the attack said about 15 devastated residents had gathered around the smouldering side of a five-storey apartment block.

“I was in the apartment during the air raid warning. I saw a bright light in my window, and understood that something was coming. Then I heard the sound, as it was nearing,” said Ms Oleksandra, 22, who lives in the apartment block.

“I saw from my window as the rocket was flying, a bright fire, and the sound of something flying very close by. I immediately went outside… I saw people were running out of our building and that there was smoke.”

The mayor of Lviv said power was down in the city and Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said critical infrastructure facilities had been damaged there.

“There are problems with energy supply. Overground electric transport and the metro have been stopped,” Mr Terekhov wrote on Telegram.

Rivne governor Vitaliy Koval said there had been missile strikes but reported no casualties in his city.

The United States strongly condemned Russia’s missile attacks on Ukraine.

“It is not lost on us that, as world leaders meet at the G-20 in Bali to discuss the issues of significant importance to the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, Russia again threatens those lives and destroys Ukraine’s critical infrastructure,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

“These Russian strikes will serve to only deepen the concerns among the G-20 about the destabilising impact of Putin’s war.” REUTERS, AFP

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