Ukraine nursery destroyed by vicious Russian missile strikes – video

Ukraine: Nursery struck by Russian missiles in Bakhmut

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A Ukrainian nursery in Bakhmut has been destroyed by Russian missile strikes, with at least two people killed. Smoke can be seen pouring from the building, which had been painted in an array of colours for the children, as huge fires burned through the roofs. Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported that a further eleven people had been injured by the strikes, which also hit at least three private houses in the city. Russian claims to have captured several small towns surrounding the city, which is on the eastern frontline, have been questioned. In light of the attacks, as well as Russia’s continued assault on energy infrastructure behind the front lines, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called on NATO for more advanced air-defence systems. 

Russia has stepped up its efforts to take Bakhmut in November; the city that, pre-war, hosted roughly 70,000 Ukrainian citizens has now become the site of the heaviest fighting across the front line. 

It is currently under Ukrainian control but Russia claims to be circling the city, taking scores of surrounding towns and villages. 

Ukraine’s General Staff said on November 28 that Russian forces are trying to advance in the direction of Lyman, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka in the oblast.

Mr Kyrylenko said one more person was killed in Lyman this week while a further three were wounded. Calls for residents to evacuate the region while the situation remains dangerous have been made. 

Russian forces have claimed that their soldiers have broken through the defensive line south of Bakhmut, which would cut one of the two remaining ground lines of communication to the city. 

Officials from the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed Russian forces had captured Ozarianivka (15km southwest of Bakhmut) and Andriivka (10km southwest of Bakhmut) on Tuesday. 

Russian military bloggers on Telegram also claimed Russian forces took Zelenopillia (13km south of Bakhmut), and that Wagner forces captured Kurdyumivka (13km southwest of Bakhmut).

But the Institute for the Study of War suggested these accounts were either premature or false, according to satellite imagery. 

Meanwhile, NATO estimates that Russian strikes have damaged one-third of Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure. 

It says the missiles appear to be particularly targeting vulnerable transmission networks, leaving Ukrainians dealing with darkness and cold.

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has underscored that his country’s biggest needs now are electrical gear and more advanced air-defence systems in addition to what it has received from the US and other allies so far, to deal with the Russian missile strikes.

“In a nutshell, Patriots and (electricity) transformers is what Ukraine needs the most,” Kuleba declared Tuesday.

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Heading into a one-on-one session with US secretary of state Anthony Blinken on the sidelines of the NATO gathering, Mr Kuleba said that Ukraine at the session had received “a number of commitments, new commitments, from various NATO members with regard to providing Ukraine with more defensive weapons and energy equipment.” 

But Mr Kuleba declined to answer questions about whether that included promises of Patriot missile batteries from the US or any other ally, which is the sophisticated air defence systems Ukraine is seeking. 

The provision of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine would mark a major advance in the kinds of air defence systems the West is sending to help the war-torn country defend itself from Russian aerial attack.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that deliveries of such sophisticated surface to air missiles systems are under consideration among some allies. The military organisation does not possess any weapons, only its member countries do.

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