Russian missiles struck Chernigiv on Wednesday, a historic city in Ukraine, inflicting many casualties. Ukrainian authorities have been urgently appealing to western allies, namely the United States, for additional military support, as the US Congress is set to discuss the aid bill to Ukraine on  Saturday.

Three Russian missiles crashed into Ukraine’s historic city of Chernigiv on Wednesday, killing 17 people, as officials pleaded for more air defense systems from allies.

Pools of blood littered the street at the scene of one strike, where rescuers searched for survivors in the rubble and carried away the wounded on stretchers, official images showed. Buildings and cars across the center of the northern city were destroyed in the strike.

Resident Olga Samoilenko told AFP how she ducked with her children into the corridor of their apartment building for protection when the first missile exploded.

The official death toll grew to 17 during the day, while emergency services said 60 people — including three children — had been wounded.

“Search and rescue operations are ongoing,” their statement added.

Zelensky Questions West’s Resolve

Mayor Oleksandr Lomako said more than a dozen buildings had been damaged in the attack, while other officials said dozens of vehicles, and medical and educational facilities were also damaged.

AFP journalists at the scene saw a body being pulled out of the rubble of an eight-story hotel building gutted by the strike, where municipal workers were using a crane to clear debris.

The Chernigiv region, which borders Belarus to the north, was partially occupied at the beginning of the Russian invasion but has been spared fighting for around two years since Russian forces retreated.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has urged allies to send more missiles to thwart Russian aerial attacks, said Ukraine lacked the weapons it needed to intercept the three missiles that struck Chernigiv.

“This would not have happened if Ukraine had received sufficient air defense equipment and if the world’s determination to resist Russian terror had been sufficient,” he said, adding that the West should do more to help defend Ukraine’s skies.

The city — home to some of Ukraine’s oldest churches — lies hundreds of kilometers from the front line but has occasionally been targeted in long-range Russian strikes.


with AFP