Amnesty Launches Petition For Release Of Kyrgyz Rights Activist Rita Karasartova

Explosions were heard above Kyiv after authorities declared a nationwide air raid alert and Russia said it downed a drone west of Moscow amid reports of two Russian airports closing temporarily for a suspected drone flight.

Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, urged residents to stay in air-raid shelters as Kyiv city officials said air defenses were operating. The Ukrainian military earlier reported that Russia had launched hypersonic missiles at the Kyiv region, including the Kh-47 Kinzhal.

Klitschko said fragments of a downed missile had come down on at a children’s hospital in the city, but that there were no injuries or damage.

The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said a drone was destroyed as it flew toward an unspecified target in Moscow.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin confirmed that and added that debris had fallen northwest of the city center. He said the drone had caused no serious damage or casualties.

Earlier, reports said that Moscow’s Vnukovo airport and the airport at Kaluga, some 150 kilometers southwest of the capital, had been closed temporarily due to what officials said was a suspected drone flight. They both later reopened.

The fresh strike on Kyiv comes as the Biden administration requested Congress to approve more than $20 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, both military and humanitarian, as the Russian invasion wears on and Ukraine pushes a counteroffensive against the Kremlin’s deeply entrenched forces.

Live Briefing: Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

RFE/RL’s Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia’s full-scale invasion, Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Western military aid, global reaction, and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war in Ukraine, click here.

In its daily morning briefing on August 11, Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian troops had “conducted unsuccessful offensives actions” in the area of Kupyansk and Bakhmut. It also said Ukrainian forces were continuing counteroffensive operations in n Melitopol and Berdyansk in the south.

A reported Russian drone strike on August 11 hit a humanitarian-aid-distribution center in Beryslav, a town in the southern Kherson region, Ukrainian officials said, but no injuries were reported.

A Russian air strike was also reported to have hit a home in a village in the Kharkiv region, killing a 60-year-old woman, and injuring a 60-year-old man, Kharkiv regional Governor Oleh Synyehubov said on August 11.

On August 10, Ukrainian officials announced the mandatory evacuation for 37 settlements in the Kupyansk district of the Kharkiv region amid reports of increased shelling by Russian forces. Synyehubov said about 11,000 people would be evacuated.

The city of Kupyansk and the territories around it were under Russian occupation until September 2022, when Ukrainian forces conducted a rapid offensive operation that dislodged the Kremlin’s forces from nearly the entire Kharkiv region.

Russia has concentrated assault troops supported by tank units, aviation, and artillery in the Kupyansk area, National Guard spokesman Ruslan Muzychuk said on Ukrainian TV on August 10.

In Russia, two Ukrainian drones were reportedly destroyed by air defenses near the city of Kursk late on August 10, TASS quoted the regional governor, Roman Starovoit, as saying. No further details were immediately available.

In Moscow, the airspace over Vnukovo airport was temporarily closed on August 11, with arrivals and departures suspended, state media reported. Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency said the move was due to a suspected drone flight in the area. The airport later announced it had reopened and was operating normally.

Meanwhile, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, said she was “appalled” by the August 10 attack on a hotel in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya that left one person dead and 16 injured, including four children, according to Ukrainian officials.

“I am appalled by the news that a hotel frequently used by United Nations personnel and our colleagues from NGOs supporting people affected by the war has been hit by a Russian strike in Zaporizhzhya,” she said in a statement, calling it “utterly inadmissible.”

Brown said she and her colleagues had stayed at the hotel during their previous visits to the region. The hotel served as the UN base for the operation to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol last year, she added.

In Washington, President Joe Biden on August 10 asked Congress to provide more than $13 billion in emergency defense aid to Ukraine and an additional $8 billion for humanitarian support through the end of the year.

But the request could face opposition in Congress, where some Republicans — especially those with close ties to former President Donald Trump — want to reduce the billions in assistance Washington has sent to Kyiv since Russia invaded in February 2022.

With reporting by Current Time, AP, and Reuters

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