Russian strikes overnight kill two
More now on the strikes Russia launched on Ukraine overnight.
Two people were killed in the biggest strikes since 15 August, according to the Associated Press. The massive Russian attack hit at least six cities across Ukraine and wounded at least 21.
The attack carried out on the International Day of Peace coincided with the United Nations general assembly summit in New York, where Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a speech and presented a Ukrainian “peace formula”.
The missile attack came a day after reports of sabotage at a Russian military airfield in Chkalovsk near Moscow.
Firefighters work at a site in a residential area, damaged during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine on 21 September 2023. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Here is what we know:
In the southern city of Kherson, near the front lines, two people were killed in Thursday’s attacks and at least five injured after a strike hit a residential building, said regional governor Oleksand Prokudin.
Seven people were injured in Kyiv, including a 9-year-old girl, reported mayor Vitalii Klitschko, and some residential and commercial buildings were damaged.
At least six strikes hit the Slobidskyi district of Kharkiv, damaging civilian infrastructure, said regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov. The city’s mayor added that two people had been sent to hospitals.
Seven 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.
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.
Updated at 01.47 EDT
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Poland will no longer send weapons to Ukraine, says PM
Poland will no longer send arms to Ukraine in order to focus on its own defence, the Polish prime minister has said, a few hours after Warsaw summoned Kyiv’s ambassador amid a row over grain exports.
“We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” Mateusz Morawiecki said, in response to a question about whether Warsaw would continue to support Kyiv despite the grain exports disagreement.
Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters after Russia invaded in February 2022 and is one of Kyiv’s main weapons suppliers. It also hosts a million Ukrainian refugees, who have been supplied with various forms of state aid.
Zelenskiy to meet Biden
Volodymyr Zelenskiy is likely to find his latest visit to Washington a much tougher occasion than the hero’s welcome he was given nine months ago.
Zelenskiy was given a standing ovation when he delivered an address to a joint sitting of Congress in December, but on Thursday morning there will be minimal ceremony, and the Ukrainian president faces difficult conversations behind closed doors when he meets congressional leaders who are in the midst of a bitter spending battle that could lead to a government shutdown.
Democrats too will have questions if the Ukrainian delegation comes with requests for drone technology. Party leaders are wary of providing weapon systems that could be used to strike Russian territory, and congressional sources say Zelenskiy will be quizzed on Kyiv’s role in recent strikes on Moscow and other targets deep within Russia.
After his visit to the Hill, Zelenskiy will cross the Potomac to the Pentagon for a meeting with defence secretary Lloyd Austin and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Mark Milley.
Then in mid afternoon, he is due at the White House to meet Joe Biden. The US president is expected to announce a new $325m military aid package on the occasion of the visit, but the package will reportedly not include the 300km-range ATACMS missiles Ukraine has been asking for.
Updated at 01.52 EDT
14 injured in Russian strikes on Kyiv, Kharkiv and Cherkasy
Explosions rocked Ukrainian cities overnight, as a massive Russian attack started fires and injured at least 14 people.
Seven people were injured in Kyiv, including a 9-year-old girl, reported Mayor Vitali Klitschko, and some residential and commercial buildings were damaged.
At least six strikes hit the Slobidskyi district of Kharkiv, damaging civilian infrastructure damaged, said regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov. The city’s mayor added that two people had been sent to hospitals.
Five were injured and at least one person was buried under rubble in Cherkasy, where a social infrastructure building was damaged, said regional Governor Ihor Taburets.
Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. This is Helen Sullivan with the latest.
Our top story this morning: Explosions rocked Ukrainian cities overnight, as a massive Russian attack started fires and injured at least 14 people. Seven people were injured in Kyiv, including a 9-year-old girl, reported Mayor Vitali Klitschko, and some residential and commercial buildings were damaged.
And Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy will meet US president Joe Biden at the White House this afternoon, as Biden is expected to announce a new $325m military aid package. The package will reportedly not include the 300km-range ATACMS missiles Ukraine has been asking for.
More shortly. Elsewhere meanwhile:
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, addressed the UN security council on Wednesday, saying there had been 574 days of “pain, losses and struggle” since Russia’s invasion of his country. He said peoples and governments had lost confidence in the UN’s ability and willingness to defend sovereign borders and that the UN had been “ineffective” but that it was “capable of more”.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, accused the west of “selectively” turning to UN norms and principles on a case-by-case basis “based on their parochial geopolitical needs”. Speaking at the UN’s security council, he said this had resulted in the “shaking of global stability” and the “exacerbation of new hotbeds of tensions” that risked global conflict.
More than a dozen European countries, as well as Australia and Canada, asked the world court on Wednesday to decide whether it has jurisdiction in a case brought by Kyiv alleging that Russia abused the genocide convention to provide a pretext for the invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine brought the case to the international court of justice (ICJ), the highest UN court for disputes between states, days after Russia launched a full-scale war on its smaller neighbour on 24 February last year.
Poland said Wednesday it will no longer arm Ukraine and instead focus on its own defence, as the two allies clashed at a key moment in Kyiv’s fightback against the invasion by Russia. In a mounting row over grain exports from Ukraine, Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to protest remarks at the UN by Zelenskiy.
Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in a lengthy set-piece speech to the UN general assembly, accused the US of fanning the flames of violence in Ukraine, prompting protests from Israel’s representative to the UN.
Russia has “deliberately and repeatedly” targeted medical facilities in the Ukrainian city of Kherson, causing damage to children’s hospitals, maternity wards and a regional clinic, according to a new study.
The Swedish investigation into the Nord Stream sabotage last year is at a sensitive stage and the investigator, Mats Ljungqvist, hopes to conclude it before the end of the year, he told Reuters on Wednesday.
Ukraine’s first lady urged world leaders on Tuesday to help return Ukrainian children forcibly taken to Russia, where she said they were being indoctrinated and deprived of their national identity. Speaking on the sidelines of the UN general assembly, Olena Zelenska said more than 19,000 Ukrainian children had been transferred by force or deported to Russia or occupied territories.
Ukraine claimed to have shot down 17 drones overnight on Tuesday. The air force reported that Russian troops had launched a total of 24 unmanned aerial vehicles at Ukraine. Ukraine reported that Russia hit an oil refinery in Kremenchuk, causing a fire and halting operations.
Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod region in Russia, reported on Wednesday that three settlements in the region had lost power as a result of cross-border shelling by Ukrainian armed forces, and that one woman had been wounded. He later reported that a man had been killed and another wounded by shelling near the village of Maksimovka.
Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met on Wednesday for more than an hour with Zelenskiy and discussed ways to achieve a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine. “We had a good conversation about the importance of paths to building,” Lula posted on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, after their meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN general assembly.