Ukraine live briefing: At least 2 dead in strikes on Kyiv; Russian military airfield

In World


Smoke rises over Kyiv early Wednesday after drone and missile strikes hit the city. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

A deluge of drones and missile strikes on the Ukrainian capital killed at least two people, according to city officials. Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration, said the city had “not experienced such a powerful attack since spring.”

The early morning strikes on Kyiv came after a slew of drone attacks targeted at least six Russian regions, including one at a military airfield in Pskov that reportedly damaged four Russian military aircraft, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Here’s the latest on the war and its impact across the globe.

The Kyiv drone attacks killed two individuals aged 26 and 36, according to Kyiv’s military administration, and injured and hospitalized two others, the city’s Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said on Telegram. A Washington Post journalist in Kyiv reported hearing several loud explosions just after 5 a.m. local time, while many locals took to shelters. Popko said buildings were damaged and fires broke out as a result of the attacks but more than 20 “enemy targets” were destroyed by Ukraine’s air defenses, he added.

Four military transport planes were damaged in a drone attack on a military airfield in Pskov, Russia, near the border with Estonia and Latvia, the Russian state news agency Tass reported. The attack damaged the Il-76 planes and caused a large fire at the Pskov airfield, regional governor Mikhail Vedernikov said on Telegram. No deaths or injuries were reported, and the local airport is expected to be closed Wednesday to survey potential damage to the runway, he said.

Russia’s defense ministry said civilian infrastructure was targeted across at least six Russian regions that faced drone attacks overnight. No casualties were reported. As well as Pskov, the drones hit five other areas including Oryol, Bryansk, Ryazan, Kaluga and around Moscow. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attacks but has increasingly used drones to target inland Russia.

Russia said it destroyed four Ukrainian military speedboats in the Black Sea carrying up to 50 paratroopers, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. A naval plane in the country’s Black Sea Fleet carried out the attack around midnight Moscow time on Wednesday, it added. The Washington Post could not independently verify the reports.

Wagner Group leader Yevgeniy Prigozhin was buried in private in a St. Petersburg cemetery, Russian media reported. The news organization MSK1 reported that Prigozhin’s family wished for the burial arrangements to be kept secret, quoting a cemetery representative. The burial was confirmed by Russian state news agency Interfax. The Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not plan to attend the funeral and that it had no details about a possible ceremony.

Ukrainian forces made advances in southern and eastern Ukraine, according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War, which cited geolocated footage. Ukrainian troops advanced near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region and Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region, the D.C.-based think tank said. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said this week that the country had retaken the village of Robotyne, seen as a strategic goal post in Ukraine’s counteroffensive toward Melitopol.

Nearly 1,400 people, including 343 children, have been evacuated from Kupyansk, a city in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, in the past three weeks, according to the Kharkiv regional governor. Authorities have ordered thousands of Kupyansk residents to flee a surge in shelling and fighting in recent weeks.

The United States announced an additional support package worth some $250 million to bolster Ukraine’s security and defense, pledging to provide mine-clearing equipment, air defense missiles and ammunition for artillery and small arms. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Washington and its allies and partners “will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

A Moscow court sentenced two Russian independent military analysts in absentia to 11 years prison for their online posts about the Russian military. The two, who reside outside Russia, are Ruslan Leviev of the Conflict Intelligence Team, which investigates military activity based on open data, and Michael Nacke, a former radio host who runs a YouTube channel with 1.4 million subscribers. Russia’s prosecutor general’s office labeled the Conflict Intelligence Team an “undesirable organization,” banning its work in Russia and making it a criminal offense to repost its content.

He pleaded for F-16s for Ukraine, but died in a crash before he could fly one: A 30-year-old Ukrainian pilot, Andrii “Juice” Pilshchikov, had lobbied Washington to send U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and was waiting to take an English exam that would have allowed him to begin his long-awaited training. But before he had a chance to start, he and two other pilots — Viacheslav Minka and Serhiy Prokazin — were killed last week in what the Ukrainian air force described as an accident during a combat mission.

The crash has left a pall of grief over the country, where the national mood had already darkened amid the challenges of the slow-going counteroffensive, Siobhán O’Grady, Serhii Korolchuk and Serhiy Morgunov report.

The pilots’ deaths have also set off anger at the United States, with some critics in Ukraine accusing Washington of unnecessarily delaying the sending of F-16 jets.

Serhiy Morgunov and Siobhán O’Grady contributed to this report.



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