On Tuesday afternoon, Russia’s armed forces launched mass strikes on cities across Ukraine, with at least three explosions recorded in Kyiv, as world leaders condemned the war in Ukraine at the G20 summit.
Kyiv’s mayor Vitaly Klitschko said that three apartment buildings in the central Pechersk district were hit in the ongoing Russian missile strike in Kyiv.
“Several missiles were shot down by air defence over Kyiv. Medics and rescuers at the scene of the hits,” Klitschko said on Tuesday.
The attack on the Ukrainian capital is the first incident of its kind in more than two weeks. The previous attack, a massive strike that hit energy infrastructure in Kyiv and around Ukraine, took place on October 31.
According to local media, strikes were also reported in Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv and Kharkiv among other places. Air raid alerts were in place across the country.
Ukrenergo, the state energy company, ordered emergency power outages across the country and “in particular, the capital.”
“This is a necessary step to balance the power system and avoid equipment accidents,” Klitschko said, adding that at least half of Kyiv was without power as a result.
What appeared to be the first major aerial attack since Moscow retreated from the key city of Kherson occurred amid a meeting of the G20 in Indonesia where world leaders have condemned the war in Ukraine.
The attacks came hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky outlined a ten-point plan for a peace settlement to end the war in his speech to world leaders. Key points in the plan include the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
In his video address to world leaders, Zelensky also called on Russia to stop bombing Ukraine’s energy infrastructure as winter approaches.
“Every week, Russia blows up our power plants, transformers and electricity supply lines,” he said, adding that 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was destroyed by the strikes of Russian missiles.
He believes that the accompanying goal of Russia’s actions is to prevent neighboring countries from exporting Ukraine’s electricity, which, in turn, could help them stabilize the energy situation and reduce prices for consumers.
“Russia is interested in the energy crisis. And we should all be interested in ending terror. Let Russia prove by its rejection of terror that it is really interested in the restoration of peace,” Interfax quoted Zelensky as saying at the G20 summit.
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the media that “all the problems are on the Ukrainian side, which categorically refuses any negotiations and puts forward conditions that are obviously unrealistic and inadequate in this situation.”
Moscow has been isolated at this year’s G20 summit as multiple Western leaders vowed not to have any contact with its foreign minister, who is in attendance on behalf of the Kremlin.
On February 24, Russia launched an all-out offensive in Ukraine, claiming that the assault aimed to protect the people of the separatist-controlled regions who were allegedly being attacked by the Ukrainian military. The Kremlin explained that the decision was made after separatist leaders of the so-called republics had asked Moscow for military support against Kyiv.