Russia unleashes a country-wide missile barrage on Ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces unleashed missiles across Ukraine early on Tuesday, killing and wounding civilians and damaging infrastructure. The barrage came just hours before top Russian military officials and their counterparts from allied countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa gathered outside Moscow for a security conference.
Missiles struck cities from the east to west of Ukraine, including far behind front lines where Ukraine is fighting deeply entrenched Russian forces to regain territory occupied by Moscow almost 18 months into the war.
Russia has built heavily fortified defenses along the more than 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line where Ukraine has only made incremental gains since launching a counteroffensive in early June.
“Deliberate large-scale attacks on civilians. Solely for the sake of killing and psychological pressure,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on X, formerly known as Twitter, commenting on the latest Russian attacks.
Six Russian-launched missiles hit the western region of Lviv, wounding 19 people, including a 10-year-old child, Lviv Gov. Maksym Kozytskyi said. According to city authorities, the power grid and nearly 120 residential buildings were damaged.
The Swedish bearings maker SKF confirmed three employees were killed overnight after its factory in Lutsk, north of Lviv, was hit by a missile strike. One person was killed in the east of Ukraine in Kramatorsk after Russian forces hit a food warehouse. In central Ukraine, a strike left parts of the city of Smila without access to water and also damaged a medical facility.
The barrage came a day after Russian forces unleashed a wave of missile and drone strikes on Odesa in the country’s southwest.
Russian forces have pummeled Odesa, hitting facilities that transport Ukraine’s crucial grain exports and also wrecking cherished Ukrainian historical sites. The repeated attacks on Odesa follow Moscow’s decision to break off a landmark agreement that had allowed grain to flow from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia and help reduce the threat of hunger.
In Russia on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin addressed a security conference outside Moscow in a pre-recorded video statement, accusing the West of fueling the conflict “by pumping billions of dollars” into Kyiv and “supplying it with equipment, weapons, ammunition, sending their military advisers and mercenaries.”
“Everything is being done to ignite the conflict even more, to draw other states into it,” Putin said.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu sought to downplay the significance of the West’s support for Ukraine, saying that despite that, Kyiv’s forces “fail to achieve results on the battlefield.”
On Thursday, Sweden announced a 3.4 billion-kronor ($314 million) aid package consisting of ammunition for equipment from previous Swedish military assistance.
Litvinova reported from Tallinn, Estonia. Associated Press writer Emma Burrows in London contributed to this report.