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Russian missiles target Ukraine's Mykolaiv, UN denounces 'annexations'

Russian missiles target Ukraine's Mykolaiv, UN denounces 'annexations'
October 13, 2022 Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russian missiles pounded the city of Mykolaiv on Thursday, officials said, after a UN General Assembly resolution called Moscow's annexation of Ukrainian territory "illegal" and Ukraine's allies committed more military aid.

"A five-storey residential building was hit, the two upper floors were completely destroyed, the rest – under rubble. Rescuers are working on the site,” Mykolaiv's Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said in a social media post, adding the southern city was "massively shelled".

A shipbuilding centre and a port on the Southern Bug river off the Black Sea, Mykolaiv has suffered heavy Russian bombardments throughout the war.

Russia also targeted a settlement in the region of Ukraine's capital Kyiv using explosive drones early on Thursday, the region's administration said on the Telegram messaging app, though there were no details on casualties.

Governor of the Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, said based on preliminary information the strikes were caused by Iranian-made loitering munitions. These are often known as 'kamikaze drones'

Critical infrastructure facilities were hit by the drones, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Volodymyr Zelenskiy's presidential office.

Reuters was not able to immediately verify the report.

In New York, three-quarters of the 193-member General Assembly - 143 countries - voted on Wednesday in favour of a resolution that called Moscow's move illegal, deepening Russia's international isolation.

Only four countries joined Russia in voting against the resolution - Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea and Belarus. Thirty-five countries abstained from the vote, including Russia's strategic partner China, while the rest did not vote.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Twitter he was "grateful to 143 states that supported historic #UNGA resolution ...(Russia's) attempt at annexation is worthless."

In Brussels, more than 50 Western countries met to pledge more military aid to Ukraine, especially air defence weapons, on the heels of heavy retaliatory strikes this week ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to an explosion on a bridge in Crimea.

Pledges from allies included an announcement by France that it would deliver radar and air defence systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks. Britain pledged air defence missiles, and Canada said it would provide artillery rounds among other supplies.

At the meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group in Brussels, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia's latest attacks laid bare its "malice and cruelty" since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24. At least 26 people have been killed since Monday in Russian missile attacks across Ukraine.

Ukraine had shifted momentum since September with extraordinary gains, but would need more help, he said. "...We're going to do everything we can to make sure that they have what's required to be effective," Austin told reporters.