Monday, November 28, 2022

Boy, 11, trapped under rubble for six hours, rescued as Russia attacks 40 Ukrainian settlements

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The mayor of the port city of Mykolayiv, Oleksandr Senkevich, said in a social media post that the southern city had been “massively shelled”.

An 11-year-old boy trapped under rubble for six hours in the Ukrainian town of Mykolaiv was rescued, the governor said, as the town was among over 40 Ukrainian settlements targeted by Russian missiles in the past 24 hours, according to officials were attacked.

The mayor of the port city of Mykolayiv, Oleksandr Senkevich, said in a social media post that the southern city had been “massively shelled”.

“A five-story apartment building was hit, the top two floors were completely destroyed, the rest – under rubble. Rescuers are working at the site,” he said.

Mykolaiv Governor Vitaliy Kim shared footage of an 11-year-old boy being rescued from the rubble of a building and being taken away by ambulance.

A shipbuilding center and port on the southern Bug off the Black Sea, Mykolayiv suffered heavy Russian bombardment throughout the war.

Russian missiles have attacked more than 40 cities and towns in the past 24 hours, while the Ukrainian Air Force has carried out 32 strikes on 25 Russian targets, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said.

Russia also used explosive drones to attack a settlement in the region of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv early Thursday, the region’s administration said on the messaging app Telegram.

Kyiv Region Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said, based on preliminary information, the attacks were caused by ammunition lying around Iran. These are often referred to as “kamikaze drones”.

Critical infrastructure facilities were hit by the drones, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office.

Rockets hit more than 30 multi-storey and private houses, gas lines and power lines in the city of Nikopol in the Dnepropetrovsk region, and more than 2,000 families were left without electricity, Dnepropetrovsk governor Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram. The report could not be independently verified.

It comes as Wednesday’s UN General Assembly resolution called Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian territory “illegal,” and Ukraine’s allies pledged more military aid.

Russia reiterated its position that the West, by helping Ukraine, indicated that “they are a direct party to the conflict,” and warned that Ukraine’s admission to NATO could trigger World War III.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a surprise offer for accelerated membership of the NATO military alliance in late September, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four partially occupied regions: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia.

In New York on Wednesday, three-fourths of the 193-member General Assembly — 143 countries — voted in favor of a resolution condemning Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of the regions.

At the United Nations headquarters on Wednesday, only four countries voted alongside Russia against the resolution — Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea and Belarus. 35 countries abstained, including Russia’s strategic partner China, while the rest disagreed.

Mr Zelensky said on Twitter that he was “grateful to 143 states that supported the historic #UNGA resolution… (Russia’s) attempt at annexation is worthless”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia’s missile attacks were a sign of weakness. “Russia is indeed losing on the battlefield,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.

With his forces losing ground since September, Mr Putin has escalated the conflict, ordering the call-up of hundreds of thousands of reservists, proclaiming the annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory and repeatedly threatening to use nuclear weapons to protect Russia.

Mr Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russian soil, which he says includes the four regions he declared annexed last month.

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he doubts Putin will resort to nuclear weapons. A senior NATO official said a Russian nuclear strike would almost certainly trigger a “physical response” from Ukraine’s allies and possibly NATO.

More than 50 Western countries met in Brussels to pledge more military aid, particularly air defense weapons, to Ukraine after Putin this week ordered severe retaliatory strikes in response to an explosion on a bridge in Crimea.

Allied pledges included France’s announcement that it would deliver radar and air defense systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks. Britain pledged air defense missiles, and Canada said it would supply artillery shells, among other things.

At the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Brussels, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said recent attacks by Russia had exposed its “malice and cruelty” since invading Ukraine on February 24. At least 26 people have been killed in Russian rocket attacks in Ukraine since Monday.

Ukraine has gained momentum since September with exceptional gains but needs more help, he said.

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