Russian airstrikes kill 2 and wound 3 in southern Ukraine as war enters 20th month

In Russia, a Ukrainian drone hit an administrative building in the city of Kursk and “insignificantly damaged” the roof.

September 24, 2023 06:20 pm | Updated 06:27 pm IST - Kyiv

Russian airstrikes on Sunday killed two people and wounded three others in southern Ukraine's Kherson province, the region's governor reported on Sunday as the war in Ukraine entered a 20th month.

According to Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin, Russian forces struck the city of Beryslav, destroying an unspecified number of private houses. A woman was killed and three people were wounded, including a police officer, he said.

Another airstrike also killed a 67-year-old man in the village of Lvove, Prokudin said without specifying the type of weapons used in the attack.

The communities hit both are located in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Kherson region, where the Dnieper River that bisects the province has marked a battle line since Russian troops withdrew across it in November 2022, a retreat that boosted the invaded country's morale.

The Russians regrouped on the river's eastern bank and regularly shell cities and villages across the river, including the city of Kherson, the regional capital that was occupied early on in the war but retaken by Ukrainian forces more than 10 months ago.

In Russia, a Ukrainian drone hit an administrative building in the city of Kursk and “insignificantly damaged” the roof, regional Gov. Roman Starovoit reported. He didn't report any casualties or say what the building housed.

Unconfirmed media reports both in Russia and Ukraine said it was the offices of the Kursk branch of Russia's main security agency, the Federal Security Service, also known as the FSB.

The Kursk region of Russia borders Ukraine and also is a frequent target of attacks. The drone strike on Sunday took place as residents commemorated the anniversary of the regional capital's founding.

There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainian authorities, who usually don't acknowledge responsibility for attacks on Russian territory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was traveling home from North America, where he addressed the UN General Assembly and paid his first wartime visit to Canada.

In a social media statement on Saturday, Mr. Zelensky said he stopped in Poland on his way back to Ukraine to give state awards to two Polish volunteers.

Mr. Zelensky apparently didn't meet with any Polish officials, but in a post on X, previously known as Twitter, he thanked Poland for “its invaluable support and solidarity that helps defend freedom of our entire Europe”.

Poland has taken in large numbers of Ukrainian refugees and been a fierce supporter of neighbouring Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into the country on February 24, 2022. However, a trade dispute has recently tested the relationship between Kyiv and Warsaw.

The Ukrainian government this month filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia for banning imports of Ukrainian farm products, which are important for the war-weary country's battered economy.

The three European Union member nations bristled at the move. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki responded by saying his country was "no longer transferring any weapons to Ukraine because we are now arming ourselves with the most modern weapons”.

His remarks left many wondering if the Western resolve to support Ukraine in the war with Russia is waning.

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