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Russian attack on Kiev injures 13 as allies pledge more military aid

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Thirteen people were injured in a wave of Russian bombardments on Kiev during the night, according to city authorities on Thursday, hours before EU leaders gathered in Brussels to discuss their further response to the conflict.

Four people were hospitalized following the overnight shellings, Kiev’s military administration said on Telegram.

Russia is said to have fired a total of 31 projectiles in the attack, including cruise missiles as well as Iskander and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. All of them were shot down, according to the Ukrainian military.

Rocket parts fell in several neighbourhoods, setting buildings and cars on fire, Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later praised the US Patriot air defence system installed to protect the city.

“Russian terrorists do not have missiles capable of bypassing Patriot and other leading world systems,” Zelensky wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

At the same time, he called for the delivery of new systems to protect the entire country, adding: “This is entirely possible if our partners demonstrate sufficient political will.”

Kiev has repeatedly asked Berlin to supply its long-range Taurus cruise missile system, but German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has steadfastly refused, fearing entanglement in the conflict.

Ukraine is at a crucial point in the war triggered by Russia’s all-out invasion in February 2022, amid reports of ammunition shortages and difficulty in recruiting new soldiers for frontline operations. Morale was dented in February when the industrial town of Avdiivka fell to the Russians after a long and devastating battle.

However, Britain’s Ministry of Defence reported on Thursday that Russian advances had slowed in recent weeks, “likely partially due to heavy losses sustained in the Avdiivka camapign.”

“The situation remainds unstable, with Ukrainian shortages of personnel and munitions likely limiting their ability to hold positions,” the British ministry warned on X, formerly Twitter, in its latest intelligence update.

In Brussels, EU leaders are due later on Thursday to discuss a controversial plan to buy armaments for Ukraine using the proceeds of frozen Russian assets.

Meanwhile, several EU states are rallying behind a Czech initiative to procure 800,000 artillery shells for Ukraine from countries outside the European Union.

Poland will join the effort, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Thursday. Eighteen other countries have so far pledged funds, including Germany, France, Canada and Norway.

Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur also promised Ukraine further military aid during a visit to Kiev on Thursday.

The Baltic EU and NATO country – one of Kiev’s staunchest supporters in its war against Russia – will support the Ukrainian army with weapons and equipment worth €20 million ($21.8 million), Pevkur told his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov.

The aid package is to include anti-tank guns, explosives, various types of ammunition for artillery and smaller calibre weapons, sniper equipment and gas masks.

Rescuers extinguish a fire in a residential building after a rocket attack in Kiev. Aleksandr Gusev/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Rescuers extinguish a fire in a residential building after a rocket attack in Kiev. Aleksandr Gusev/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Ukrainian police and rescue workers evacuate residents from a five-story residential building after a rocket attack in Kiev. Aleksandr Gusev/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Ukrainian police and rescue workers evacuate residents from a five-story residential building after a rocket attack in Kiev. Aleksandr Gusev/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

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