Ukraine Will ‘Respond to Every Blow’ After Deadly Russian Attacks
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to retaliate after a series of Russian attacks killed at least nine people and injured seven others. The attacks occurred in the Kyiv region and the city of Zaporizhzhia.
The Russian Attacks
On Wednesday, two dormitories and a college were hit in a series of early-morning drone attacks on the town of Rzhyshchiv, 64 km (40 miles) south of Kyiv. Emergency services reported that seven people were injured, and at least eight were killed, including an ambulance driver who went to the scene.
Hours later, two residential buildings were damaged in a missile attack on the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia. One person was killed, and 33 were taken to the hospital.
President Zelenskyy condemned the attacks, describing the one on Zaporizhzhia as an act of “bestial savagery.” He added that Ukraine will not stand down, and that every Russian strike would receive a military, political, and legal response.
“We will certainly respond to every blow of the occupier on our cities,” Zelenskyy said. “All Russian strikes will receive a military, political, and legal response.”
The military said it had shot down 16 of 21 Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones during the night. The attacks occurred as Zelenskyy visited troops near the front line.
Visit to Bakhmut
Zelenskyy’s office released a video of him handing out medals to soldiers, which it said was filmed near Bakhmut, the eastern city where Ukrainian forces are engaging in Europe’s deadliest infantry battle since World War II. Russia’s only notable recent gains have been around Bakhmut.
Kyiv decided in recent weeks not to withdraw from the area, saying its defenders were inflicting enough losses on the Russian attackers to justify holding out. The United Kingdom’s defense ministry said in an intelligence update that while there was still a risk that the Ukrainian garrison in Bakhmut could be surrounded, Russia’s assault on the city could be running out of steam.
Ukraine’s army agreed, saying Russia’s offensive potential in Bakhmut was declining. A Ukrainian counterattack in recent days west of Bakhmut was likely to relieve pressure on Ukraine’s supply route, according to the UK ministry.
Xi Departs Moscow
Russia’s attacks also coincided with President Vladimir Putin bidding farewell to his visiting “dear friend,” Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Hosting Xi in Moscow this week was Putin’s grandest diplomatic gesture since he launched the war on Ukraine a year ago and became a pariah in the West.
Washington criticized the timing of the trip, just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin on war crimes charges. Beijing has proposed a peace plan for Ukraine, which the West largely dismisses as vague at best and at worst a ploy to buy time for Putin to regroup his forces.
In an apparent reference to the Chinese president’s visit to the Russian capital, Zelenskyy tweeted: “Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes.”
Ukraine has vowed to respond to the deadly Russian attacks that have claimed the lives of at least nine people and injured seven others. President Zelenskyy has condemned the attacks and has promised to retaliate with a military, political, and legal response. The attacks come as Ukraine and Russia continue to engage in Europe’s deadliest infantry battle since World War II.