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Many Dead as Russia Targets Cities in Ukraine

The attacks showed further international action needed to be taken against Russia, Zelensky said. Credit: , (CC BY 2.0)

A wave of air strikes by Russia on cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv, has left at least 19 people dead as Kyiv says that the country is prepared for a counteroffensive.

Sixteen people including a child were killed in an attack that hit a block of flats in the central city of Uman, officials said. And a woman and her three-year-old daughter were killed in the city of Dnipro, according to the local mayor.

The Russian defense ministry said its military had targeted Ukrainian army reserve units with the strikes. State-owned RIA news agency said Russia was aiming for the reserve units and used high-precision weapons on Friday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the apartment block was among 10 residential buildings that were damaged in Uman.

He added that the attacks showed further international action needed to be taken against Russia.

“Evil can be stopped by weapons – our defenders are doing it. And it can be stopped by sanctions – global sanctions must be enhanced,” he said in a tweet.

The head of the Kyiv city military administration said it was the first Russian missile attack on the capital in 51 days.

Ukraine “ready to launch” counteroffensive against Russia

The attacks come as Ukrainian forces say they are ready to launch a military offensive with new equipment, including tanks, supplied by Western allies.

“As soon as there is God’s will, the weather and a decision by commanders, we will do it,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov told an online news briefing on Friday.

He further noted that the country has received “very modern systems, especially in the area of armored vehicles,” including Leopard 2 and Challenger tanks, with Leopard 1 tanks arriving later.

However, the Abrams tanks cannot participate in the counteroffensive as crews are still undergoing training.

Reznikov highlighted that Ukraine has “a large number of armored vehicles of various types, including Bradleys, Marders, Strykers, and C90s,” with preparatory courses nearing completion.

Russia has struggled to make headway in a winter offensive including a 10-month battle for control of the strategically important city of Bakhmut.

Moscow acknowledged last week that one of its bombs accidentally hit the Russian city of Belgorod which is located near the border with Ukraine.

The city of 340,000 about 25 miles east of the border with Ukraine has faced regular drone attacks that Russian authorities blame on the Ukrainian military, but the explosion was far more powerful than anything its residents had heard before.

Witnesses reported a low hissing sound followed by a blast that made nearby apartment buildings tremble and threw a car onto a store roof.

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