LOOK: Missile strikes reported across Ukraine; Zelensky to address G-7


By Rachel Pannett and Ellen Francis

Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine early Tuesday, including in the capital, Kyiv, a day after strikes killed 19 people and injured more than 100, emergency services said.

Western allies were quick to condemn the Monday attacks, but it was not clear whether they would all speed up or expand their military aid as the pace of conflict escalates.

As air raid sirens blared in the capital, Kyiv, the regional governor, Oleksiy Kuleba, said air defenses shot down at least one missile. In a message on Telegram, he urged residents to stay in shelters.

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Mykolaiv’s governor said air defenses downed missiles in the southern region, and the State Emergency Service said missiles hit Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine, sparking a fire and killing at least one person. The Washington Post could not immediately verify details of the strikes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to address an emergency virtual meeting of the Group of Seven nations Tuesday. His calls for better air defense systems and longer-range weapons intensified after the strikes tore through busy streets and knocked out power, as Moscow pledged retaliation for a blast on Russia’s bridge to Crimea.

A missile strike left nearly a third of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv without electricity on Tuesday, according to the city’s mayor. Lviv is a major city near the Polish border and is far from the war’s front lines.

In Kharkiv, a city that suffered devastating bombardment during earlier periods of this war, news that it was happening again in major cities – even if just for a day – had an impact.

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Life goes on, but lingering traumas don’t fade. In central Kharkiv, a woman said she barely left her child’s side during Monday’s citywide blackout.

“We couldn’t leave her alone. We couldn’t let her go outside,” 47-year-old Inna Varchenko told The Washington Post as she took 11-year-old Valeria to run errands.

Wrapped in a pink raincoat, the little girl stood close by her mother, hugging her at times as we spoke. “We lived in this city through everything,” Varchenko said, looking down at her daughter. “That means she saw everything, she heard everything. Really, she’s still scared.”

President Biden promised continued aid for Kyiv in a Monday call with Zelensky, according to a White House statement that didn’t include time frames. A meeting of Nato defense ministers will also discuss Ukraine’s pleas for weapons later this week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky outside his office in Kyiv. Picture: Handout / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Mariano Grossi on Tuesday, the Kremlin said. The UN watchdog is seeking a buffer zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, which Russian forces control.

The first of four air defense systems long promised by Germany to Ukraine will be ready for deployment within the “next few days,” Berlin’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht says.

In a statement issued on Monday, Lambrecht explicitly linked the need for a speedy delivery of the weapons to Moscow’s renewed strikes on non-military targets across Ukraine in recent days. The systems, capable of protecting an entire city, had initially been scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.

“Russia’s attacks with missiles and drones terrorize the civilian population in particular. That is why we are now providing support especially with air defense weapons,” she said in a statement – adding that the three remaining systems would follow.

Moscow’s latest wave of attacks – which it described as a punishment for Saturday’s explosion on the Crimean Bridge – are a sign that the war is entering a new escalatory phrase and adds to the pressure on Ukraine’s western allies to boost their military support for Kyiv.

The IRIS-T SLM is a German-made surface-to-air missile system with a range of 25 miles, capable of destroying enemy objects flying at altitudes of up to 12 miles into the sky.

* The Washington Post’s Louisa Loveluck contributed to this report from Kharkiv.



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