Nine people were killed in Russian attacks across Ukraine on Tuesday, including a drone strike that set ablaze industrial warehouses and destroyed humanitarian aid supplies in the western city of Lviv, officials said.
Six of the victims were killed by a guided bomb that hit the northeastern town of Kupiansk, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said, describing the attack as a “military crime against the civilian population of the Kharkiv region”.
One man was killed in the drone strike on Lviv and two people, including a policeman, were killed in shelling of the southern city of Kherson, local officials said.
The attacks were the latest of many carried out by Russia since it sent troops into Ukraine nearly 19 months ago in an invasion condemned at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday by US President Joe Biden and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The civilian death toll is rising rapidly although Moscow denies deliberately targeting civilians.
In Lviv, which is far from front lines, a huge fire broke out after three industrial warehouses were hit in an attack at around 5 am (0200 GMT), emergency services said.
Photos released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine showed fire fighters tackling huge flames that lit up the sky above the burning warehouses.
Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi said the body of a man who worked at one of the warehouses had been found under the rubble, and that fire was extinguished in the late afternoon, hours after it started.
Denise Brown, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said a warehouse used by the non-governmental organisation Caritas-Spes had been destroyed.
“The vital humanitarian facility, which contained approximately 300 tons of relief supplies, was burned to the ground,” she said in a statement.
‘NEXUS OF HORROR’
Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi said Russian forces had launched 18 drones in the attack on his region, and that 15 had been shot down, including seven that were directly over the Lviv region.
Ukraine’s air force said Russia had launched a total of 30 drones and one Iskander ballistic missile in attacks on Ukraine overnight, and that 27 of the drones had been shot down.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate comment from Moscow.
Russia staged multiple air strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities last winter and has intensified attacks on port and grain infrastructure in the two months since Moscow quit a deal allowing safe exports of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports.
In New York, Biden said Russia’s invasion and occupation of territory violated the founding UN Charter and Guterres said the invasion had unleashed “a nexus of horror.”