Russia Missile Attack On Ukraine: 31 Dead, Over 100 Injured In One Of Largest Attacks Yet

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At least 31 people are dead and over 120 are wounded after Russia launched one of its largest attacks on Ukraine Friday since its invasion last year, using “nearly every type of weapon in its arsenal,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said —after Ukraine’s prime minister plead with its allies for funding being held up by disagreements in the U.S. and among EU members.

Key Facts

Russian forces attacked the capital Kyiv, as well as Lviv, Dnipro, Odesa, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, and other regions of the country, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, which added a maternity hospital, schools, and residential buildings were among the targets of the attack.

Zelenskyy said around 110 missiles were used in the attack against Ukraine, but a majority were shot down.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said no truce talks or negotiations would stop Russia’s assaults, “but will only inflate its scale,” and called on its allies to provide the country “with all the necessary military and financial means to defend itself.”

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said Friday it carried out 50 strikes on Ukrainian military targets with “precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles” this week, but did not mention the attacks on Friday, according to NBC News.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian forces launched a cruise missile attack on a Russian landing warship in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, with Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat saying it would be hard for the ship, which carries tanks and armored vehicles, to be used again, Reuters reported.

Tangent

NATO-member Poland, a neighbor to Ukraine, said Friday an unidentified aerial object was spotted in its airspace amid the Russian attack on Ukraine. General Maciej Klisz, operational commander of Polish armed forces, said the object was likely a missile, and it spent less than three minutes in Polish airspace before going back to Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Key Background

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a letter this month to the Multi-Agency Donor Coordination Platform For Ukraine, a platform established by G7 leaders last December to coordinate support for Ukraine’s financing needs, the country is experiencing “exceptionally high uncertainty” over its budget for 2024, Bloomberg reported. “To uphold macroeconomic stability, it is imperative that we receive sufficient, prompt, and predictable external financing, beginning January 2024,” Shmyhal said in the letter seen by Bloomberg. Last week, Ukraine’s Finance Ministry said the country needs $37.3 billion in aid next year for immediate budget needs, including keeping the government running. On Wednesday, the U.S. announced its final security assistance package of the year of $250 million in weapons and medical equipment to Ukraine, warning that inaction from Congress could jeopardize further assistance to the country. Funding for Ukraine is being held up by far-right Republicans who are demanding Ukraine assistance be tied to additional border security measures. Earlier this month, the White House said in a letter to Congressional leaders the U.S. is “out of money” and “nearly out of time” to support Ukraine, which would risk its gains and Russia’s advance. Earlier this week, the EU was reportedly preparing a back-up plan to provide about $22 billion for Ukraine, using a debt structure to sidestep Hungary’s objections to provide further aid to Ukraine, according to the Financial Times. The EU failed to agree on a four-year aid package worth $54 billion for Ukraine earlier this month, after it was vetoed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. However, the bloc opened accession negotiations with Ukraine, after the country has aspired for membership for years, the Associated Press reported.

Further Reading

U.S. Running Out Of Funding For Ukraine, White House Says (Forbes)

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Russia Missile Attack On Ukraine: 31 Dead, Over 100 Injured In One Of Largest Attacks Yet

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