- The flames removed from the block of apartments in Kiev
- The power crashed in the middle of the capital
- The video shows abandoned Russian bunkers across the river from Kherson
- The Russian administration withdraws from Nova Kakhovka
- Zelenskiy said at the G20 summit that Ukraine will not take a break
KIEV/KHERSON, Ukraine, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Russia rained missiles on cities across Ukraine on Tuesday in a barrage of attacks that followed its humiliating retreat from Kherson, even as signs grew that its forces in retreat they move even further away from the Dnipro. River to the south.
Air raid sirens sounded and explosions rang out in nearly a dozen major cities after one of the biggest missile launches yet, following a pattern in recent weeks of Moscow being pushed far from the front after losses on the battlefield.
In the capital Kiev, flames shot through a five-story apartment block, one of two residential buildings that authorities said had been hit there. Reuters reporters who arrived at the scene saw residents cowering from the smoking ruins. The mayor said one person was confirmed killed and half of the capital left without power.
Other shots or explosions were reported in cities from Lviv and Zhytomyr in the west to Kryvy Rih in the south and Kharkiv in the east. Regional officials said some of the attacks knocked out power.
The widespread attacks came four days after Russian troops abandoned the southern city of Kherson, the only regional capital Moscow had captured since its invasion, six weeks after President Vladimir Putin declared an eternal of Russia.
Russia had said last week that its troops were occupying positions that were easier to defend on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River. But video footage filmed in the town of Oleshky, across a collapsed bridge from Kherson, appeared to show that Russian forces had also abandoned their bunkers.
Further east, Russian-installed administrators said they were running out of civil servants from the region’s second-largest city, Nova Kakhovka, located on the riverbank near a large dam. strategic
Natalya Humenyuk, a Ukrainian military spokeswoman, said Moscow appeared to be repositioning its artillery 15-20 km (10-15 miles) further from the river, to protect its guns from Ukrainian counterstrikes.
“There is some activity of the enemy troops on the left bank of the Dnipro in terms of moving 15-20 km away from the bank,” he said. Russia also had artillery capable of hitting Kherson from those new positions, but “we still have something to respond to,” he said.
A day after visiting Kherson to celebrate victory there, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told world leaders that there would be no let up in Ukraine’s military campaign to drive Russian troops out of his country.
“We will not allow Russia to wait, build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilization,” he said in an address by video link to a summit of the G20 major economies in Indonesia.
“I am convinced that now is the time when Russia’s destructive war must and can be stopped.”
Tuesday’s airstrikes follow a pattern Russia has maintained since mid-October of launching long-range missiles and drone strikes on Ukrainian cities after battlefield clashes. Moscow said it is attacking energy infrastructure. Kiev says such attacks only strengthen the resolve of its citizens.
“Russia responds to Zelenskiy’s powerful speech at the G20 with a new missile attack. Does anyone seriously think that the Kremlin really wants peace? It wants obedience. But at the end of the day, the terrorists always lose,” the leader of Zelenskiy’s staff Andriy Yermak tweeted. .
Before pulling out of Kherson last week, Russia had said it was moving its forces across the Dnipro to better defend territory including the approaches to the strategic Crimean peninsula, which Russia has held since 2014.
But in the video filmed in Oleshky, across the river from Kherson on the main highway a two-hour drive into Crimea, there was no sign of a Russian presence.
A driver raced down the deserted main road for miles at high speed without encountering a single checkpoint or Russian flag. Several bunkers set up along the road appeared to be abandoned. The location of the video was confirmed by Reuters based on visible landmarks.
In Nova Kakhovka, the Russian administration said on Tuesday that civil servants left to escape the shelling, “and were transferred to safe areas in the region.”
There were no confirmed reports that Ukrainian troops crossed the river to pursue the Russians. But some analysts said Ukraine could try to press its advantage on the battlefield, instead of taking a so-called “operational pause” after the advances of the last few days.
“Ukraine has the initiative and the drive and tells the Russians where and when the next fight will be,” said Philip Ingram, a senior British military intelligence officer.
The war was a central focus of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, where Western leaders denounced Moscow. Russia is a member and Ukraine is not, but Russian President Vladimir Putin stayed home.
Speaking at the summit, Zelenskiy outlined a peace proposal in which Russia would withdraw all its forces, release all prisoners and reaffirm Ukraine’s territorial integrity, all long-standing demands.
He proposed indefinitely extending a program to safeguard Ukrainian grain exports to help feed poor countries, expanding to the port of Mykolaiv, again out of range of Russian guns after the Kherson advance.
Western countries pushed for a summit statement condemning the war, despite Russia’s opposition and the lack of unanimity. The diplomats circulated a 16-page draft that said: “The majority of members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy.”
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the head of Russia’s delegation in Putin’s absence, accused the West of trying to politicize the statement.
Reporting by Jonathan Landy, Tom Balmforth and Reuters bureaux; Writing by Peter Graff; Edited by William Maclean and Alex Richardson
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