Russia launched a missile attack early Thursday on cities across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, hours after President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine denounced Russia’s “criminal and unprovoked aggression” on his country before the United Nations.
The missiles sent civilians rushing to shelters in places ranging from Lviv, on the country’s western edge, to Kharkiv in the northeast. In Kyiv, at least seven people were wounded, fires broke out and a gas pipe was damaged from missile debris, according to the mayor and the regional military administration.
Mr. Zelensky spent two days this week in New York at the United Nations General Assembly appealing for more aid and support against Russia, amid growing concern about Ukraine’s ability to regain territory and the ballooning cost of the war.
Ukraine launched a counter offensive in June to retake occupied land in the south and east of the country. While it has registered some success amid heavy fighting that has been costly for both sides, it is yet to achieve a decisive breakthrough of Russia’s defenses. At the same time, the Black Sea has become an increasingly central theater in the conflict with both sides waging attacks.
On Thursday, Mr. Zelensky was expected to meet with President Biden in Washington to push for more support. Mr. Biden is preparing to push through an additional $24 billion for Ukraine in Congress.
Moscow has, in the past year, appeared to schedule significant missile barrages to coincide with high profile diplomatic events connected with Ukraine.
Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv regional military administration, said on the Telegram messaging app that the latest attacks meant that the city’s residents had endured more than 1,000 hours, or more than 41 days, of being under air alerts since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. There was a second air raid alert in the capital at 7:15 a.m.
In Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram that six missiles caused multiple blasts and wounded at least two people. In Cherkasy in central Ukraine, a public building was hit in the city center, its mayor said on Facebook.
In Kherson in the country’s south, a Russian attack left two people dead and several others hurt, according to the regional military administration. Officials there did not specify if the deaths resulted from a missile strike. Since Moscow withdrew its forces from the city 10 months ago in what was, at that time, a significant victory for Ukraine, it has launched thousands of shells at the city and the surrounding area from its positions on the eastern side of the Dnipro River.
Ukraine’s public broadcaster, Suspilne, reported that explosions were also heard in the cities of Rivne, Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi in the country’s west.