Kyiv, March 22
Russia blasted an apartment block in Ukraine with missiles on Wednesday and swarmed cities with drone attacks overnight, in a display of force as President Vladimir Putin bid farewell to his visiting “dear friend” and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida left Kyiv.
Firefighters battled a blaze in two adjacent tall residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia, where officials said at least one person had been killed and 33 wounded by a twin Russian missile strike.
Japanese pm pledges aid for Poland
- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged to support Poland to help it in assisting Ukraine
- Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki hosted Kishida in Warsaw a day after he made a surprise visit to Kyiv
- “Bearing in mind the rising burden on Poland due to the prolonged war, Japan would offer assistance,” Japan’s Kishida said
- Japan usually provides the type of promised aid to developing nations but it is making an exception for Poland, Kishida said
- Poland has supplied military, humanitarian and political assistance to Ukraine during the war
In Rzhyshchiv, a riverside town south of the capital, at least six persons were killed, 18 injured and three still missing after a drone struck two college dormitories. A section of a five-storey building reportedly collapsed.
“Right now, residential areas where ordinary people and children live are being fired at,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted, with security camera video showing one of the buildings exploding as it was struck in broad daylight.
“This must not become 'just another day' in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world. The world needs greater unity and determination to defeat Russian terror faster and protect lives,” he wrote. A playground and a car park at the scene were littered with glass, debris and wrecked cars. Emergency workers carried out the wounded or escorted those who could walk.
An elderly woman with scratches on her face sat alone on a bench, wiping tears and whispering prayers.
“When I got out, there was destruction, smoke, people screaming, debris. Then the firefighters and rescuers came,” said Ivan Nalyvaiko, 24.
Sirens blared across the capital and swathes of northern Ukraine, and the military said it had shot down 16 Iranian-made drones. — Reuters
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