Eighteen dead in Russian missile strike on Chernihiv (updated)

Дата: 17 April 2024
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Russians in their missile attack killed 18 people in the city of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine on April 17, 2024, according to Ukrainian officials and BBC News.

Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said there were more than 60 injured in the attack, which hit an eight-story building in a densely populated area. Three children were among the casualties. According to the officials, three missiles had struck close to the centre of the city.

In Chernihiv, acting mayor Oleksandr Lomako said one building had suffered a direct hit from one of the Russian missiles and several floors had been damaged.

“Three explosions occurred in the city at 09:03. It is not quite the central part of the city, but a densely populated residential area. There was a direct hit to a social infrastructure building – an 8-storey building. Elements of the walls from the 2nd to the 5th floor and an extension to it have been visibly destroyed,” Lomako said.

Russians have also killed the police lieutenant Alina Mykolaiets, 25, in this Iskander missile strike. The woman lived in a neighbouring house and was home on sick leave. She received a fatal shrapnel injury.

Alina Mykolaiets

The presidential office in Kyiv said four more high-rise buildings, a hospital, dozens of cars and a higher education institution were all damaged in the attack.

Video from the scene showed people getting off a trolley bus and diving for cover in the city. Officials appealed for the public to come forward to give blood.

At least six people have been reported missing. Emergency services are continuing to search the rubble for more victims.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian strike would not have happened “if Ukraine had received sufficient air defense equipment”, and he repeated an appeal to Western allies to provide support.

"Determination matters. Support matters. Ukraine’s determination is sufficient. What is needed is the partners’ determination and support that will reflect this," Zelenskyy noted.

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called again for additional air defense systems for Ukraine. He also thanked Germany for having already made an important decision to provide Ukraine with an additional Patriot battery.

“Building on President Zelenskyy’s recent contacts, I will urge other partners to follow suit during my meetings with G7 allies in Italy this week,” Kuleba wrote on X.

By way of background, Chernihiv is only 100 km (60 miles) from the Russian border. A theatre in the city was also hit in a missile attack in August 2023 that killed seven people.

Russia often launches drones and missiles twice within an hour at the same target, a tactic known as double-tapping. According to officials, this has killed 90 rescuers and injured over 300. This tactic is enabled by gaps in air defense.

In a US TV interview on April 15, 2024, the Ukrainian President also blamed Ukraine’s declining air defenses for Russia’s ability to destroy a key thermal power plant supplying Kyiv and other regions last week.

Zelenskyy reported 11 missiles were fired at the Trypillya Thermal Power Plant (TPP) and Ukrainian forces were only able to bring down seven of them.

“Four destroyed Trypillya. Why? Because we had zero missiles. We ran out of all missiles,” he told PBS.

Kyiv has been waiting for months for a USD 60,000,000,000 aid package to get through Congress, but it has been held up by Republican obstruction.

On March 22, 2024, Russians destroyed Ukraine’s largest dam, the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), in a mass missile attack. Ukrhydroenergo, Ukraine’s largest hydropower generating company, reported two direct hits to the Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia, HPP-1 and HPP-2. It is not yet known whether it will be possible to restore the latter because it was seriously damaged.

Due to combined attacks of the Russian Armed Forces, the coalition of human rights organizations “Ukraine. 5 a.m.” appealed to partner countries to intensify their actions for providing air defense systems to protect civilians and facilities under the protection of international humanitarian law.

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