March 24, 2023

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Russia strikes homes in southern Ukraine, says war on ‘uncontrollable escalation’ – News

Under pressure in southern Ukraine, Russia fired missiles and drones at Ukrainian-controlled Mykolaiv on Sunday, destroying an apartment complex in a shipyard town near the frontline and the war “escalating”. It warned that it was uncontrollable.

Mykolaiv is 35 km northwest of the front line in southern Kherson, the target of a major offensive by Ukrainian forces to retake territory captured by Russia after the invasion. February 24 Invasion.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, whom Russian nationalists blamed for Moscow’s setbacks in the war, He discussed the “rapidly deteriorating situation” in the calls Along with their French and Turkish counterparts, the folder said.

Without providing evidence, Shoigu said Ukraine could step up the operation with a “dirty bomb” consisting of conventional explosives mixed with radioactive material. Ukraine does not have nuclear weapons, while Russia says it can defend itself DRussian territory with nuclear weapons.

In a routine Russian strike on Sunday, a missile destroyed the top floor of an apartment building in Mykolaiv, sending shrapnel and debris into a square and into neighboring buildings. Reuters reported that cars were crushed under the rubble. No casualties occurred.

“After the first explosion, I tried to leave, but the door was locked. A minute or two later, there was a second explosion. Our door exploded onto the sidewalk,” said Oleksandr Messinov, 50, who woke up to the explosion. .

Ukraine shot down 14 Russian “kamikaze” drones over Mykolayiv overnight, regional governor Vitaly Kim said in a telegram. The drones were designed to attack and detonate Ukraine’s energy infrastructure this month.

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Kim said Russia also launched an attack with S-300 missiles, one of which hit a five-story building.

Severity of attacks

Russian troops have retreated from frontline areas in recent weeks and occupation officials are moving civilians deeper into Russian-controlled territory ahead of an expected battle for the regional capital Kherson on the west bank of the Dnipro River. Kherson is a gateway to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Russian officials in Kherson said one person was killed and three others wounded in an explosion in the city, according to the Russian state news agency. Emergency services said an improvised explosive device had exploded near a car in the city.

Reuters could not verify Kim’s report on the Kherson attack or the missiles and drones.

Ukraine’s advances in recent weeks around Kherson and in the country’s northeast have been met with intense Russian missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure, which destroyed 40% of Ukraine’s power systems before winter.

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of planning to blow up the Nova Khakovka dam, which would flood parts of southern Ukraine, including Kherson, if it broke.

Neither side presented evidence to support their claims about the dam supplying water to Crimea and the Russian-controlled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

In Kherson, occupation authorities have advised civilians to leave, the latest sign of trouble facing Russia in what Moscow calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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“Due to the tense situation on the front, the risk of massive explosions in the city and the threat of terrorist attacks, all civilians should immediately evacuate the city and move to the Left Bank. [leste] From Dnipro!” read a statement posted on Telegram.

“We want to stay”

Thousands of civilians fled Kherson after warnings of a Ukrainian offensive to retake the city.

In Oleshki, on the east bank, Reuters saw people arriving by boat from Kherson with boxes, bags and pets. A woman carries a child under one arm and a dog under the other.

“I really don’t want to [sair]I’m still working,” said one resident. “We wanted to stay in the area, but now we don’t know.”

Ukraine’s military said it was making gains in the south, taking at least two villages that Russia said it had abandoned. Reuters could not independently verify the data.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian attacks on energy infrastructure had reached a “very wide” scale. He promised that his army would improve its already good record of shooting down missiles with the help of its partners.

With the war about to enter its ninth month and winter approaching, the potential for frostbite is high.

More than 1 million people are without power, presidential aide Kyrillo Tymoshenko said. The attacks could leave Kiev without electricity or heat for days or weeks, according to a city official.

Moscow has admitted targeting energy infrastructure, but denies targeting civilians.

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