Russian bombs launched by Iranian-made drones hit the Kyiv region on Thursday as the Ukrainian capital once again suffered the shock of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s murderous wrath.
The attack comes three days after damaging missile strikes marked the first assault on the city since the early days of the war, when Russia’s march towards Kyiv was repelled by Ukrainian forces.
“A new suicide drone attack on critical infrastructure,” Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Telegram. “The competent services are already… documenting the consequences of the bombardments. Do not neglect security, stay in the shelters during the alarms!”
The UK Ministry of Defense said low-flying drones were unlikely to provide deep strike options into Ukrainian territory, and many would have been destroyed before reaching their targets.
Missile and mortar fire in towns in the south and east of the country had become commonplace in the seven months since the start of the Russian invasion, but Kyiv in north-central Ukraine , had enjoyed relative normality since March. That changed dramatically after an explosion at the Russian-built Crimean Bridge on Saturday reduced road and rail traffic – and embarrassed Putin’s government. Missiles rained down on towns across Ukraine in retaliatory strikes on Monday.
THE UNITED STATES AND ALLIES SUPPORT UKRAINE’S AIR DEFENSE:Eight Arrested in Crimean Bridge Bombing: Updates
►Russian attacks have killed 13 people and injured 37 across Ukraine in the past 24 hours, Ukraine’s presidential office said. Three of the deaths occurred in the southern city of Mykolaiv when missile strikes destroyed an apartment building, but an 11-year-old boy was pulled from the rubble.
►NATO defense ministers gathered in Brussels for a second day of talks to assess the situation in Ukraine after the alliance pledged Wednesday to provide more air defense equipment to the country.
►The Lithuanian government has announced a new military aid program for Ukraine which includes winter clothing as well as armored cars, thermal imaging cameras, drones and other equipment.
►The Ukrainian army estimates that more than 63,000 Russian soldiers were killed or injured during the war. Russia has not released any figures and Ukraine is not announcing its own losses.
► The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, thanked Vladimir Putin for what he described as Russia’s support for the organization of the next FIFA World Cup, which begins on November 20.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would cross a “very important line” if he ordered the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday. NATO plans to hold its annual “Steadfast Noon” military deterrence exercises next week, and Russia is also planning nuclear drills in the coming days. Stoltenberg spoke after a meeting of NATO’s nuclear planning group, held at a conference of defense ministers in Brussels.
Concerns have intensified over Putin’s insistence that he will use any means necessary to defend what he sees as Russian territory. The Kremlin, however, dismissed talk of nuclear weapons as a Western tool to justify the militarization of Ukraine.
The speaker of the Russian parliament said more than 70 energy facilities in Ukraine had been bombed in retaliation this week. He threatened an “even tougher” response to future attacks from Ukraine, which did not claim responsibility for the bridge attack. The electricity disruption could become crucial as winter sets in across the battered country.
“All the organizers and perpetrators of the terrorist attacks must be found; those who resist must be destroyed,” State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram.
The International Monetary Fund has provided Ukraine with $1.3 billion in additional emergency funding for “priority budget needs”, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Thursday. “Thank you to our partners for their unwavering support,” Shmyhal said on Twitter.
The IMF has given Ukraine $2.7 billion since the start of the Russian invasion. The fund will soon start working with Ukraine to “prepare a new special program which will start next year”, Shmyhal said.
Britain announced on Thursday that it will provide missiles for NASAM’s advanced anti-aircraft systems that the Pentagon plans to send to Ukraine. Britain is also providing hundreds of additional aerial drones for intelligence gathering and logistical support, along with another 18 artillery howitzers.
“These weapons will help Ukraine defend its skies against attack and bolster its overall missile defense alongside the US NASAMS,” UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.
Contributor: The Associated Press