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Russian missiles slam into a Ukraine city and kill 13 people as the war approaches a critical stage

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Kyiv, Apr 17 (AP) Three Russian missiles slammed into a downtown area of the northern Ukrainian city of
Chernihiv on Wednesday, hitting an eight-floor apartment building and killing at least 13 people,
authorities said.
At least 61 people, including two children, were wounded in the morning attack, Ukrainian emergency
services said. Chernihiv lies about 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of the capital, Kyiv, near the border
with Russia and Belarus, and has a population of around 250,000 people.
The latest Russian bombardment came as the war stretched into its third year and approached what
could be a critical juncture as a lack of further military support from Ukraine's Western partners
increasingly leaves it at the mercy of the Kremlin's bigger forces.
Through the winter months, Russia made no dramatic advance along the 1,000-kilometer (620-mile)
front line, focusing instead on attritional warfare. However, Ukraine's shortage of artillery ammunition,
troops and armoured vehicles has allowed the Russians to gradually push forward, military analysts say.
A crucial element for Ukraine is the holdup in Washington of approval for an aid package that includes
roughly $60 billion for Ukraine. House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Sunday that he would try to move
the package forward this week.
Ukraine's need is now acute, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think
tank.
“The Russians are breaking out of positional warfare and beginning to restore maneuver to the
battlefield because of the delays in the provision of US military assistance to Ukraine,” the ISW said in an
assessment late Tuesday.
“Ukraine cannot hold the present lines now without the rapid resumption of US assistance, particularly
air defence and artillery that only the US can provide rapidly and at scale,” it said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pleaded with Western countries to provide his country
with more air defence systems. He said of the Chernihiv strike that "this would not have happened if
Ukraine had received enough air defence equipment and if the world's determination to counter
Russian terror was also sufficient”.
Zelenskyy told PBS in an interview broadcast earlier this week that Ukraine recently ran out of air
defence missiles while it was defending against a major missile and drone attack that destroyed one of
Ukraine's largest power plants, part of a recent Russian campaign targeting energy infrastructure.
Ukrainian forces are digging in, building fortifications in anticipation of a major Russian offensive that
Kyiv officials say could come as early as next month.
Ukraine is using long-range drone and missile strikes behind Russian lines which are designed to disrupt
Moscow's war machine.

Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday that a Ukrainian drone was shot down over the Tatarstan
region early Wednesday. That's the same area that was targeted in early April by Ukraine's deepest
strike so far inside Russia, about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) east of Ukraine.
Ukrainian drone developers have been extending the weapons' range.
Another Ukrainian drone was shot down over the Mordovia region, roughly 350 kilometers (220 miles)
east of Moscow, the ministry said. That is 700 kilometers (430 miles) from the Ukrainian border.
About an hour before that Mordovia attack, Russia's civil aviation authority halted flights at airports in
two of the country's largest cities, Nizhny Novgorod and Tatarstan's Kazan, because of safety concerns.
Also, unconfirmed reports said a Ukrainian missile struck an airfield in occupied Crimea. Neither Russian
nor Ukrainian officials confirmed the strike, but local authorities temporarily closed a road where the
airfield is located.
Russian news agency Tass quoted the local mayor as saying windows in a mosque and a private house in
the region were shattered in a blast there. (AP)
PY

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