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Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko inspects damage caused by Tuesday's attacks by Russia. Alamy

Ukraine hits Russian border regions with airstrikes in latest retaliatory attacks

it follows a barrage of deadly missile strikes on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

CRIMEA AND TWO Russian regions neighbouring Ukraine have seen another wave of attacks, local officials said, as aerial strikes from both sides of the conflict intensify.

It follows a barrage of deadly missile strikes in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and the northeastern city of Kharkiv yesterday, with five dead and dozens of civilians wounded.

Moscow claimed to have struck only military installations, but Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov said Russia was deliberately hitting critical infrastructure and residential neighbourhoods.

Since December 29, Russia has launched nearly 300 missiles and more than 200 drones against Ukraine, he said.

The border region of Belgorod in Russia was hit by two attacks this morning, the governor of the region Vyacheslav Gladkov said, adding that the situation “continues to be tense”.

One person was killed and eleven injured the day before, Gladkov said.

An aerial attack damaged infrastructures and caused power cuts in the Kursk region, to the north of Belgorod, its governor Roman Starovoyt said on Telegram.

And another missile was downed near Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014, the city’s governor said, with no reported damage.

Russian regions bordering Ukraine have seen regular strikes since the beginning of the offensive.

But Belgorod has been particularly hit in the wake of massive Russian strikes on Ukraine last week.

On Friday, a massive bombardment across Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, killed over 30 people.

In retaliation Belgorod faced a wave of attacks over the weekend, with 25 people killed — an unprecedented toll since the beginning of the offensive almost two years ago.

Russia then launched 99 missiles over Ukraine yesterday morning, Kyiv said.

kyiv-ukraine-02nd-jan-2024-in-the-residential-district-of-solomyanka-a-9-storey-building-with-10-stairwells-was-hit-early-this-morning-two-elderly-people-were-killed-and-49-other-residents-injur An apartment block in Kyiv that was hit by an attack yesterday. Two elderly people were killed and 49 other residents injured. Alamy Alamy

Meanwhile, the Polish foreign minister has called on allies to deliver long-range missiles to Ukraine to help Kyiv target “launch sites and command centres”.

Radoslaw Sikorski said on social media that the West should respond “in language that Putin understands”.

Poland is among Ukraine’s staunchest allies, with the new administration in Warsaw doubling down on political support to the neighbouring country.

- © AFP 2024