Kyiv, Ukraine — Russian missiles struck Ukrainian towns early Thursday morning, Ukrainian authorities said, sparking fires, killing at least two people and trapping others under rubble.
The early morning missile attack was Russia’s largest in more than a month and came a day after reports of sabotage at a Russian military airfield in Chkalovsk, near Moscow.
It also coincided with the UN General Assembly summit in New York, during which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a speech and presented a Ukrainian “peace formula”, and took place on the occasion of International Day of Peace.
On the same day, Poland announced that it would stop transferring its own weapons to Ukraine as part of the modernization of its own army.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the decision was not linked to a temporary ban on Ukrainian grain imports, nor would it affect arms transfers through Poland.
A dispute over whether Ukrainian grain should be allowed to enter the domestic markets of Poland and other European Union countries has pushed close relations between Kiev and Warsaw to their lowest level since the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
“We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine because we will now arm ourselves with the most modern weapons,” he said Wednesday evening in an interview with the private television channel Polsat News.
Morawiecki stressed that Poland would defend its economic interests, but added that the dispute over grain imports would not harm Ukraine’s security. He said the NATO-US center in the Polish town of Rzeszow, used to transport weapons to Ukraine, would not be affected.
“We are not going to endanger Ukraine’s security,” he said. Poland has transferred large quantities of its old weapons to Ukraine and upgraded its own inventory with new equipment purchased from South Korea and other countries.
In the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, near the front lines, two people were killed on Thursday and at least five injured after a strike on a residential building, regional governor Oleksand Prokudin said.
Seven people were injured in kyiv, including a 9-year-old girl, Mayor Vitalii Klitschko reported, and some residential and commercial buildings were damaged.
The Ukrainian Air Force said it intercepted 36 of 43 cruise missiles launched deep into Ukraine. Closer to the front lines, Kherson was hit by S-300 missiles and Kharkiv was likely targeted by other, shorter-range weapons.
At least six strikes hit Kharkiv’s Slobidskyi district, damaging civilian infrastructure, regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said. The city’s mayor added that two people had been hospitalized.
At least 10 people were injured and at least one person was rescued from the rubble in Cherkasy, central Ukraine, according to Ihor Klymenko, Ukraine’s interior minister. Up to 23 people could still be buried under rubble in Cherkasy after the morning strike, Cherkasy regional governor Ihor Taburets said. Emergency services were working to clear the debris.
An industrial zone was hit in the western region of Lviv, damaging buildings and starting a fire, but no information on casualties was immediately available, Klymenko added.
Regional Governor Vitalii Koval reported strikes in the town of Rivne, in the region of the same name (northwest), without immediately providing details.
The Russian Defense Ministry said 22 drones were shot down overnight by air defense systems, 19 over Russian-annexed Crimea and three more in the Kursk, Belgorod and Orel regions near Ukraine. The Defense Ministry did not specify whether there were any casualties.
Associated Press journalist Vanessa Gera in Warsaw, Poland, contributed to this report.
For more coverage of the war in Ukraine, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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