Monday, 5 June, 2023

Russian missile strike kills four in Ukraine as Zelensky visits UK

KYIV: A Russian missile strike killed four people and hit a hospital in eastern Ukraine, officials said Monday, as President Volodymyr Zelensky won the promise of hundreds more missiles and drones on a visit to Britain, reports AFP.

The attack on the front-line city of Avdiivka was one of a wave of strikes that damaged 57 residential buildings in 13 localities, Ukraine's national police force said.

Four people died as a result of a missile attack on Avdiivka. Russians attacked the city with missiles this morning, hitting a hospital, Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

But elsewhere, Ukraine claimed advances around Bakhmut, as its armed forces prepare for a counter-offensive over a year on from the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2022.

While Russia's ally China vies to act as peace broker, sending an envoy to Kyiv this week, Zelensky drummed up hefty new packages of military aid on weekend visits to France and Germany.

He proceeded Monday to Britain for talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who pledged air-defence missiles and long-range attack drones for Ukraine, both numbering in the hundreds.

The Kremlin said the new UK weapons would only cause further destruction.

Sunak noted that the meeting at the prime minister's country estate of Chequers was taking place in the buildup to a Council of Europe leaders' meeting in Iceland and a G7 summit in Japan.

The front lines of Putin's war of aggression may be in Ukraine but the fault lines stretch all over the world, he said, vowing we must not let them down.

Sunak hosted Zelensky in the same Chequers room used by Britain's World War II leader Winston Churchill to broadcast defiant speeches vowing victory over the Nazis.

And the same way today, your leadership, your country's bravery and fortitude are an inspiration to us all, he told Zelensky.

Dressed in his trademark fatigues, Zelensky gave a bear hug to Sunak after disembarking from a military helicopter, and thanked him for the latest UK aid.

He said the crisis was a matter of security not only for Ukraine, it is important for all of Europe.