On Friday, Russia launched deadly strikes on cities across Ukraine, resulting in the deaths of 26 people, including five children. Among the targets were the historic city of Uman and the central city of Dnipro, where Russian cruise missiles killed 23 people and a 31-year-old woman and her two-year-old daughter, respectively.
The southern region of Kherson was also hit, with one woman killed and three others injured. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attacks and vowed to respond.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that his country’s preparations to push back against Russian positions were almost complete. NATO allies and partners have provided Ukraine with armoured vehicles and tanks, with Reznikov stating that “in a global sense, we’re ready”.
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The majority of the fighting in the ongoing war has been concentrated in the eastern Donbas region, with Bakhmut almost completely destroyed. Tough clashes have involved members of the mercenary group Wagner and Russian special forces. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin made a rare visit to Bakhmut, pledging to rebuild the city.
Meanwhile, China has become an ally to Russia, with Chinese President Xi Jinping advocating for peace talks during a telephone conversation with President Zelensky. Zelensky also asked Xi to help bring back Ukrainian children deported by Russia.