| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Russia Targets Kyiv with Ballistic Missiles. Ukraine Says It Intercepted All of Them

Russia fired eight ballistic missiles at Kyiv early Monday, all of which were shot down, Ukraine’s Air Force said. The thwarted attack still left one person injured by shrapnel and three more suffered severe stress reactions, officials said.
A series of loud explosions rang out in Ukraine’s capital just after 4 a.m., as the city was under its nightly curfew, followed by air raid sirens.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said that in Darnytskyi district of eastern Kyiv the debris of an intercepted missile fell without catching fire, and elsewhere in the capital the explosive wave damaged the windows of a house.

Kyiv is routinely targeted by Russian drone and missile attacks.

Just over two weeks ago, Kyiv came under what Ukrainian officials said was the most intense drone attack since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022. Ukraine’s air force said Russia launched 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones against the capital, of which 74 were destroyed by air defenses.

Monday’s attack on the capital happened as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was in Argentina, where he attended the swearing-in of the country’s new president, Javier Milei. It was the Ukrainian leader’s first official trip to Latin America as Kyiv continues to court support among developing nations for its 21-month-old fight against Russia’s invading forces.

Zelenskyy met with Milei as well as with the presidents of Uruguay, Paraguay and Ecuador. During the inauguration ceremony, Zelenskyy could be seen exchanging words with Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, widely considered one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies in Europe and one of the few European leaders who hasn’t sided with Ukraine in the war.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said he had a “highly straightforward conversation” with Orban, “focused on our European affairs.”

He said he also spoke by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “about joint work at the EU level and about the joint defense of Europe.”

EU leaders are meeting later this week in Brussels. Orban has demanded that EU membership talks with Ukraine and billions of euros in funding meant for Kyiv be taken off the agenda.

Zelenskyy was due to travel to Washington for meetings Tuesday with President Joe Biden and other US officials.
“Volodymyr Zelenskyy will focus on ensuring unity among the United States, Europe and the world in supporting Ukraine’s defense against Russian terror and strengthening the international order based on rules and respect for the sovereignty of each nation,” his office said in a statement.

Biden has asked Congress for a $110 billion ($61.4 billion) package of wartime funding for Ukraine and Israel, along with other national security priorities. But the request is caught up in a debate over US immigration policy and border security.

Elsewhere in Ukraine on Monday, Russia fired 18 drones overnight, and the Air Force intercepted all of them, mostly over the southern Mykolaiv region.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat