Day 757: Russia fires 31 missiles at Kyiv, carries out ballistic missile attack on Mykolayiv

Russia fires 31 missiles at Kyiv, injuring 17. The chairman of NATO’s military committee arrives in Kyiv for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s gains in Donetsk region slow, the British defence intelligence says.

Russia fires 31 missiles at Kyiv, injuring 17

Russia fired 31 ballistic and cruise missiles at Kyiv on Thursday in the first attack on the Ukrainian capital in 44 days. Air defenses shot down all 31 of the missiles, though the falling wreckage still caused damage to several neighborhoods.

In the Podilskyi district, wreckage from intercepted missiles fell in a non-residential area. Firefighters extinguished a fire at a transmission substation that had affected 200 square meters. The roof of a two-story non-residential building caught fire.

In the Shevchenkivskyi district, a shock wave from one of the blasts blew out the windows in several apartment buildings. A fire broke out in one of the apartments, people had to be evacuated from the building. Three parked cars caught fire. Falling wreckage fell near a kindergarten and apartment buildings, causing “no negative impact,” officials said. Firefighters extinguished a fire in a private house.

In the Svyatoshynskyi district, missile debris fell on the fourth floor of a nine-story building. A shock wave from a blast blew out the windows. A parked car caught fire.

Six schools and kindergartens were damaged in the attack.

At least 13 people were injured in different parts of Kyiv. An 11-year-old girl was among four people taken to hospital, city officials said.

In the surrounding Kyiv region, four people were injured. The strike damaged sixty-nine private houses, five apartment buildings, and two schools there. 

Ukraine’s air force said Russia launched 29 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles from 11 Tu-95MS strategic bombers and two ballistic missiles – an Iskander-M or a closely resembling North Korean KN-23 missile, and a Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missile. Ukraine’s air defenses destroyed all 31 of the missiles that Russia sent against the capital.

Russia carried out a ballistic missile attack on Mykolayiv on Thursday afternoon. A woman was killed, and four more people were injured.

Chairman of NATO’s military committee arrives in Kyiv for first time since invasion

The Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer visited Kyiv on Thursday. “My visit ─ the first NATO military delegation to visit Ukraine since the large-scale invasion ─ is testament to the fact that NATO and Ukraine are closer than they have ever been,” Bauer said, speaking at the Kyiv Security Forum.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to travel to Ukraine in person and to meet with your political and military leadership,” he said. “It allows me to express my deep respect for the courage and strength you have displayed, both on and off the battlefield.”

“Together, we are putting everything into place to make Ukraine a member of our Alliance. The Swedish flag will not be the only blue and yellow flag at the NATO headquarters,” Bauer said. 

During a discussion that followed his speech, he noted: “You don’t only need new grenades, tanks, and armored vehicles, unfortunately, you also need new soldiers, because soldiers die and get wounded. And then you talk about mobilization, conscription and all the things that are being discussed and that are difficult for a nation.”

“It’s not easy in a democracy, in a liberal economy to convince people. But I see there is a change,” the chairman of the alliance’s military committee added. Bauer also said that Ukraine’s allies should not be too pessimistic about its ability to repel Russian troops. He also urged the allies to continue to support Ukraine.

Russia’s gains in Donetsk region slow, British defence intelligence says

Russian forces’ gains in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk have slowed in recent weeks, according to the latest British defence intelligence update, and that’s likely partially due to heavy losses sustained in the campaign to seize Avdiyivka. “They have attempted to expand areas of control north-west of Donetsk city and are highly likely contesting a string of villages including Orlivka, Tonenke, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske,” it said.

“The situation remains unstable, with Ukrainian shortages of personnel and munitions likely limiting their ability to hold positions,” the UK’s defence intelligence said. 

“Russian forces have highly likely been making efforts to increase and improve their employment of maskirovka techniques [camouflage and deception techniques] to mitigate the heavy losses sustained over the past two years in both the Black Sea Fleet and Aerospace Forces,” a previous update said.