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Russian missiles hit Ukrainian apartment buildings and injure 17 in latest strikes on civilian areas

In Europe
January 17, 2024

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia fired two missiles at Kharkiv city in northeastern Ukraine during the night, hitting apartment buildings and a medical center and injuring 17 people, officials said Wednesday, in Moscow’s latest strikes on civilian areas in the almost two-year war.

The S-300 missiles landed after dark Tuesday, Kharkiv regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram.

The surface-to-air missiles have been adapted by Russia to hit land targets and are cheaper to produce than ballistic or cruise missiles. However, they are inaccurate and have a shorter range, analysts say.

Both sides are looking to replenish their weapons stockpiles as fighting along the 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) front line is largely bogged down by winter weather and the war’s focus tuns to long-range missile, drone and artillery strikes.

Russia’s intense aerial attacks across Ukraine in recent weeks sharply increased civilian casualties in December, with over 100 killed and nearly 500 injured, according to the United Nations.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been making a diplomatic push for Kyiv’s Western allies to keep supplying weaponry. He recently visited three Baltic countries and was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to make his case on Tuesday.

The night-time attack on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, struck 20 residential buildings and a medical center, authorities said.

Deeper inside the region of the same name, areas close to the front line came under artillery fire, according to officials.

Ukraine’s air force said it intercepted 19 out of 20 Shahed-type drones fired by Russia overnight, though regional officials reported that other drones made it through air defenses.

In the southern city of Odesa, three people were injured in a drone attack that forced the evacuation of about 130 people from an apartment building, regional Gov. Oleh Kiper said.

In Kherson, another southern city, artillery fire injured three people and damaged residential districts overnight, according to regional chief Oleksand Prokudin.

The missile attacks on Kharkiv came from the Russian border region of Belgorod, Ukrainian officials said. That area has experienced a recent increase of cross-border attacks by Ukraine.

The Russian defense ministry said Wednesday that two winged Ukrainian drones and four missiles were shot down over the Belgorod region overnight and another around noon local time on Wednesday. It provided no details about damage or injuries.

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Associated Press writer Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia, contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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