Ukraine. Kryvyi Rih residents urged to take shelter as Russian missiles strike again | Ukraine

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Russia hit the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih again with cruise missiles on Thursday, after a devastating strike a day earlier destroyed a reservoir dam and caused widespread flooding.

The latest attack on the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has caused severe damage. Two missiles hit the same tank hit on Wednesday, which was being repaired, Kryvyi Rih military administrator Oleksandr Vilkul said. He urged residents to stay in shelters.

It came as Zelenskiy was meeting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was in Kyiv for her third visit since the full-scale invasion of Russia.

Zelenskiy, in his late-night speech on Wednesday, described Russia’s tactics as the work of “weak and scoundrels” who had fled the battlefield and were doing harm from “afar”.

On Thursday, he said the Kremlin was cynically targeting thousands of civilians in revenge for its military defeats. “We are not talking about military infrastructure here. It’s no surprise to us,” he said, standing next to Von der Leyen in his Mariinsky Palace residence.

Russia has intensified its attacks on electricity and utility providers after Ukraine’s shock counteroffensive in the northeast of the country. Within days, Ukrainian troops recaptured almost the entire Kharkiv region, including nearly 400 settlements.

Recent strikes from Moscow have cut off essential water and electricity. Earlier this week, Russian warplanes fired long-range missiles at a major power station in Kharkiv, plunging the city and much of the surrounding region into darkness.

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Zelenskiy said he and the president of the European Commission discussed how to keep their citizens warm during the winter, at a time when Moscow has cut off gas to much of Europe. Ukraine exports electricity to the EU after being connected to its grid in March.

He also called on Germany, Italy, France, the United States and Israel to provide Kyiv with modern air defense systems. Berlin has promised to send Iris-T air defense units but they have not yet arrived. Zelenskiy said the technology was urgently needed to keep Ukrainians safe.

For the visit of the top European official, the Ukrainian president unveiled a Walk of Fame-style slab bearing Von der Leyen’s name in front of his palace residence. She joins regulars Boris Johnson and Polish President Andrzej Duda on the “Alley of the Brave”. Air raid alarms sounded minutes before Thursday’s joint press conference.

Von der Leyen said the successful Ukrainian counter-offensive around Kharkiv had “boosted the morale” of Zelenskiy’s “European friends”. Talks are underway on Kyiv joining the EU and the single market, she said, adding: “We are friends forever. We will be with you as long as it takes.

In Kryvyi Rih, engineers had begun to repair some of the missile damage to the hydraulic system that had caused the Inhulets River to overflow. Eight cruise missiles hit the pumping station there on Wednesday in what Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called a cowardly “act of terror”.

According to Kharkiv region governor Oleh Synyehubov, Russian soldiers retreating from the town of Balakliia blew up the local gas operator. They stole almost all of the company’s specialized vehicles, Synyehubov said, adding that Ukrainian utilities were working to restore supply.

Russian units are said to have been digging around the town of Svatove in Lugansk province after withdrawing from neighboring Kharkiv region last week. They fortified positions on the east bank of the Oskil River, about 10 miles from the newly liberated city of Izium.

Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, conceded that the “Ukrainian enemy” was now “virtually on the borders”. He insisted there was absolutely no reason to panic, repeating the phrase twice.


In fact he's so sure that he has to repeat himself pic.twitter.com/5XRSpQ01N0

— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) September 15, 2022n","url":"https://twitter.com/francis_scarr/status/1570417540513558533?s=20&t=FOnjo5xvGRiivODm2AYhqw","id":"1570417540513558533","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"d0f70e15-af0b-4804-a1fa-d8b82313d1de"}}'>

The Ukrainian enemy is at the door, says Leonid Pasechnik, leader of the ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’, but he insists ‘there is no reason to panic’

In fact, he’s so sure he has to repeat himself pic.twitter.com/5XRSpQ01N0

—Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) September 15, 2022

The Institute for the Study of War reported that the Kremlin was trying to deflect blame for Russia’s uncomfortable military setbacks from Vladimir Putin. They were instead attributing the blame to “underinformed military advisers”, the US think tank said in its latest briefing.

He added: “Kremlin officials and state media propagandists are discussing in depth the reasons for the Russian defeat in Kharkiv Oblast, a marked departure from their previous pattern of reporting Russian successes that are exaggerated or crafted with limited detail.”

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