Russia Launches Fresh Drone Strikes On Ukraine As Moscow Says Attack On Crimea Repelled

At least seven people, including a child, were killed and 90 were wounded in a Russian missile strike on the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on August 19, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said, while President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the attack “a day of pain and loss” caused by “a terrorist state.”

Zelenskiy, who is on a visit to Sweden, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Russian missile hit the heart of Chernihiv. A square, a university, and a theater.” Zelenskiy also posted a video of the purported place of the attack.

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“Russia turned an ordinary Saturday into a day of pain and loss,” said Zelenskiy.

“This is what it means to live next to a terrorist state,” he said, adding, “I urge the world to stand up to Russian terror.”

Regional Governor Vyacheslav Chaus said on Telegram that the attack was “probably a ballistic missile.”

Separately, the Interior Ministry said a 6-year-old boy was killed and 11 other children were among the wounded by the missile, which struck Chernihiv’s Drama Theater. The mother of the boy killed in the attack was in serious condition, authorities said.

Earlier on August 19, the Ukrainian military said that the air defense shot down 15 out of 17 Iranian Shahed drones that Russia used in its latest overnight attack on Ukraine.

“The air force in cooperation with the air defense and other components of the Defense Forces of Ukraine destroyed 15 enemy drones,” the military said in its daily report, adding that the attacks targeted the eastern, northern, and western parts of Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said on August 19 that its air-defense systems repelled a Ukrainian drone attack on a military airfield in Novgorod region located northwest of Moscow, but the attack resulted in a damaged Russian warplane.

There were no casualties in what the ministry’s statement called “a terrorist attack,” but a fire that broke out on the airfield causing damage to one of the warplanes parked there.

The information could not be independently verified.

WATCH: Residents of Kupyansk in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region are being transported to safety amid signs of a buildup of Russian forces nearby.

The ministry earlier claimed that it had downed a Ukrainian missile over Moscow-occupied Crimea overnight.

On the diplomatic field, Zelenskiy and his wife, Olena, traveled to Sweden for talks on defense cooperation.

Zelenskiy said on social media that he and Olena are visiting Sweden to “thank all Swedes who support Ukraine” in its fight against Russia’s unprovoked invasion and will meet with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, the royal family and other Swedish officials.

“Our primary task is the strengthening of Ukrainian soldiers on the ground and in the sky,” Zelenskiy wrote.

Sweden is part of a coalition of 11 Western countries together with Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and the United Kingdom that pledged last month to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces continue to advance in the areas near the southern cities of Melitopol and Berdyansk, the military said on August 19, adding that the Ukrainian forces fought a total of 36 clashes over the past 24 hours along the front line.

The push toward the Russian-occupied strategic city of Melitopol is part of Ukrainian forces’ attempt to cut off Russia’s land bridge to Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

It comes as a U.S. intelligence report quoted by The Washington Post assessed that Ukrainian forces do not appear likely to reach and retake Melitopol during the ongoing counteroffensive.

Russia controls nearly a fifth of Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula, most of the Luhansk region, and large tracts of the regions of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya, and Kherson.

With reporting by Reuters

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