Russia blasted an apartment block in Ukraine with missiles on Wednesday and swarmed cities with drone attacks overnight, in a display of force as President Vladimir Putin bid farewell to his visiting “dear friend” and the Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
Firefighters battled a blaze in two adjacent tall residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia.
Officials said the twin Russian missiles killed at least one person and wounded 33 in the building.
“Right now, residential areas where ordinary people and children live are being fired at,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted.
“This must not become ‘just another day’ in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world. The world needs greater unity and determination to defeat Russian terror faster and protect lives.
“Security camera video showed one of the buildings exploding as the missile struck it in broad daylight,” he wrote.
Glass, debris and wrecked cars littered a playground and a car park.
Emergency workers carried out the wounded or escorted those who could walk.
An elderly woman with scratches on her face sat alone on a bench, wiping tears and whispering prayers.
“When I got out, there was destruction, smoke, people screaming, debris. Then the firefighters and rescuers came,” said Ivan Nalyvaiko, 24.
In Rzhyshchiv, a riverside town south of the capital, at least six people died, 18 sustained injuries and three are still missing after a drone struck two college dormitories.
Reuters saw a five-storey building with a collapsed section of the top floor.
During the night, sirens blared across the capital and swathes of northern Ukraine.
The military said they have shot down 16 of 21 Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones.
Read Related News:
In an apparent reference to the Chinese president’s visit to the Russian capital, Zelenskiy tweeted: “Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes.”
Zelenskiy visited troops near the front line on Wednesday.
His office released a video of him handing out medals to soldiers, which it said was filmed near Bakhmut, the eastern city where Ukrainian forces are mounting a defence.
Bakhmut has become Europe’s deadliest infantry battle since World War Two.
Hosting Xi in Moscow this week was Putin’s grandest diplomatic gesture since he launched the war a year ago and became a pariah in the West.
The two men referred to each other as “dear friend”, promised economic cooperation, condemned the West and described relations as the best they have ever been.
“They shared the view that this relationship has gone far beyond the bilateral scope and acquired critical importance for the global landscape and the future of humanity,” said a statement released by China.
Xi departed telling Putin: “Now, there are changes that haven’t happened in 100 years.
“When we are together, we drive these changes”.
“I agree,” Putin said, to which Xi responded: “Take care of yourself, dear friend, please.”
But the public remarks were notably short of specifics.
During the visit, Xi had almost nothing to say about the Ukraine war, beyond that China’s position was “impartial”.
The White House urged Beijing to pressure Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.
It also criticised the timing of the trip, just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin on war crimes charges, which Beijing has joined Moscow in rejecting.
Do you have a flair for Citizenship Journalism? Share story(ies) of happenings in your area with The NewsZenith on WhatsApp: 08033668669 or email@example.com