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Russia Launches New Wave Of Air Strikes On Infrastructure In Kyiv

A fresh wave of air attacks hit Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities for a second day in a row early on October 18, targeting residential areas and energy infrastructure, officials and witnesses said.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukraine's presidential office, said there had been three Russian strikes on an unspecified energy facility in northern Kyiv.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the attack was on "critical infrastructure" and emergency workers were heading there.

Russian troops also shelled energy facilities in Dnipro and, previously, in Zhytomyr, and blasts were reported in Kharkiv.

Explosions also shook the cities of Kriviy Rih and Mykolayiv, local 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 shelters," Oleksandr Vilkul the head of the central Ukrainian city's military administration said on social media, adding that so far there were no reports of casualties or damage.

In the southern port of Mykolayiv overnight shelling killed at least one person, 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 retrieved 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 Zelenskiy said Russia attacked Ukraine again with drones late on October 17, after a day of strikes on cities in which at least seven people were killed and a U.S. warning that it will hold Russia accountable for war crimes.

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

Speaking in his nightly address, Zelenskiy said the armed forces managed to shoot down many missiles and drones.

"But in order to guarantee the protection of our skies and to 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 Russia has "no chance on the battlefield" and therefore is trying to "cover up its military defeats with terror."

The Russian shelling on October 17 -- both the drone strikes and other air strikes with missiles -- led to new power outages, which Zelenskiy said were being fixed. But he also asked Ukrainians to conserve electricity during peak hours.

The British Ministry of Defense, in its daily intelligence bulletin, said on October 18 that Russia's heightened tempo of long-range strikes over the past week against targets across Ukraine included so-called kamikaze drones provided by Iran.

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"[Strikes] have been conducted by cruise missiles, air defense missiles in a surface-to-surface role, and Iranian-provided Shahed-136 one way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles," British intelligence said.

U.S. President Joe Biden's spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters that the White House “strongly condemns Russia’s missile strikes” and said the attacks continue "to demonstrate [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s brutality.”

She said the United States "will continue to impose costs on Russia, hold them accountable for its war crimes."

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

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on October 17 that more than 100 such drones had struck Ukraine in the past week, hitting power stations, sewage treatment plants, bridges, and playgrounds.

"A third of Ukraine's energy infrastructure was affected," a ministry statement said.

"We call on Tehran to immediately stop supplying Russia with any weapons. Otherwise, Iran and its leadership will bear the strictest responsibility, including within the framework of international legal proceedings addressing Russia's crimes against Ukraine."

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appealed earlier on October 17 to the foreign ministers of the European Union to impose sanctions on Iran over drone supplies to Russia.

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

Asked for comment, the Iranian mission to the United Nations repeated a statement issued by the government on October 14 that said it supports upholding the UN Charter and the UN attempts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

The United States warned on October 17 that it would take action against companies and nations working with Iran's drone program.

"Anyone doing business with Iran that could have any link to UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or ballistic missile developments or the flow of arms from Iran to Russia should be very careful and do their due diligence -- the U.S. will not hesitate to use sanctions or take actions against perpetrators," State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

"Russia deepening an alliance with Iran is something the whole world -- especially those in the region and across the world, frankly -- should be seeing as a profound threat," Patel said.

By RFE/RL

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  • steve Clark on October 18 2022 said:
    Western countries need to give Ukraine the weapons to hit deep inside Russia if we are going to get Russia out of the Ukraine and end this war.

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