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Ukraine faces deadly Russian missile onslaught after securing tanks from allies

Russia pounded Ukraine with missiles and drones, killing at least 11 people, according to officials, after Western allies pledged tanks to Kyiv in its
fight against Moscow’s invasion.

January 27, 2023
By Tom Balmforth and Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey
27 January 2023

By Tom Balmforth and Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey

KYIV, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Russia pounded Ukraine with
missiles and drones, killing at least 11 people, according to
officials, after Western allies pledged tanks to Kyiv in its
fight against Moscow’s invasion.

Air raid alarms sounded across Ukraine on Thursday as people
headed to work. In the capital Kyiv, crowds took cover for a
time in underground metro stations.

“Not a single room is left intact, everything got hit,” said
Halyna Panosyan, 67, surveying twisted sheets of corrugated
metal, crumpled masonry and a large missile crater outside her
ruined house in Hlevakha near Kyiv.

“There was an extremely loud strike that made me jump up. I
was in the bedroom … I was saved by the fact that the bedroom
is to the other side of the house.”

Russian forces trained tank, mortar and artillery fire on
more than 60 towns and villages in an arc of territory extending
from Chernihiv and Sumy regions in the north through Kharkiv
region in the northeast and in the focal points of Russian
attempts to advance in Donetsk region in the east – Bakhmut and

Ukraine’s military said it shot down 47 of 59 Russian
missiles – some fired from Tu-95 strategic bombers in the
Russian Arctic. Russia also launched 37 air strikes, 17 of them
using Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. All drones were downed,
the military general staff said.

Eleven people were killed and 11 wounded in the drone and
missile strikes, which spanned 11 regions and also damaged 35
buildings, a State Emergency Service spokesperson said.

Russia responded with fury to news on Wednesday that Germany
and the United States would send dozens of modern tanks to
Ukraine. More tanks will come from Canada, Poland, Britain,
Finland and Norway while several more allies including France,
Spain and the Netherlands were considering sending tanks too.


Moscow has in the past reacted to Ukrainian successes with
massed air strikes that left millions without light, heat or
water. On Thursday, it appeared to follow that pattern. Prime
Minister Denys Shmyhal said Russian attacks on Thursday targeted
energy plants.

“I held an urgent meeting today about the energy situation –
about the shortages that are occurring and repair work after the
terrorists’ strikes. Repair teams are working in those sites
where hits occurred,” President Volodomyr Zelenskiy said in an
evening video address on Thursday.

The Kremlin said it saw the promised delivery of Western
tanks as evidence of growing “direct involvement” of the United
States and Europe in the 11-month-old war, something both deny.

Western allies have so far committed about 150 tanks while
Ukraine has said it needs hundreds to break Russian defensive
lines and recapture occupied territory in the south and east.
Both Moscow and Kyiv, which have so far relied on Soviet-era
T-72 tanks, are expected to mount new ground offensives in

After being promised modern tanks, Ukraine is now seeking
Western fourth-generation fighter jets such as the U.S. F-16, an
adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister said.

DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy producer, conducted
pre-emptive emergency power shutdowns in Kyiv on Thursday, the
surrounding region and the regions of Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk.

In Odesa, the Black Sea port designated a “World Heritage in
Danger” site on Wednesday by the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO,
Russian missiles damaged energy facilities, authorities said,
just as French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna was arriving.

“What we saw today, new strikes on civilian Ukrainian
infrastructure is not waging war, it’s waging war crimes,” she

The United States on Thursday formally designated
Russian private military company the Wagner Group as a
transnational criminal organization, freezing its U.S. assets
for helping Russia’s military in the Ukraine war.

Since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year, Russia has
shifted the focus of its rhetoric from “denazifying” and
“demilitarising” its neighbour to confronting what is says is an
aggressive and expansionist U.S.-led NATO alliance.
Russia’s invasion has killed thousands of civilians, uprooted
millions and reduced cities to rubble.

(Reporting by Reuters bureaus; writing by Cynthia Osterman;
Editing by Grant McCool)

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