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Russian drones struck several regions of Ukraine overnight, including Kharkiv, where four people died and 12 were injured after two residential buildings were hit in an attack described as “despicable” by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy .

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Ukraine’s General Staff said 20 drones struck during the night and morning of April 4 and 11 of them were disrupted by air defense forces.

Hours after the attack, Zelenskiy wrote in a post on a despicable and cynical attack.”

Zelenskiy added that Kyiv was working with “partners to strengthen the protection of our cities and towns,” saying that “strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities directly translates into saving lives.”

Speaking in Brussels at a NATO meeting on the day the military alliance celebrates its 75th anniversary, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke of the need for Patriot missiles to defend Ukraine against attacks.

“I don’t want to spoil the party,” Kuleba said after congratulating NATO members on the anniversary, “but my main message today will be Patriots.”

“Saving Ukrainian lives, saving the Ukrainian economy, saving Ukrainian cities depends on the availability of Patriot and other air defense systems in Ukraine. We are talking about Patriot because it is the only system capable of intercepting ballistic missiles,” he added.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov published photographs on Telegram showing damage to a 14-story building, as well as damaged emergency vehicles.

Yevhen Vasylenko, a spokesman for the State Emergency Service, told RFE/RL that rescuers were trying to save people trapped in a smaller building nearby.

“Under the rubble there were people who needed help,” Vasylenko said. “Rescuers immediately arrived at the scene and during the rescue operations, the enemy struck again with drones.”

He added that rescuers were able to save a civilian trapped under the rubble.

“Usually, rescue workers take cover if there is a threat of a second strike,” Vasylenko said. “But today someone was under the rubble and needed help, so action had to be taken immediately.”

Three emergency vehicles were reportedly damaged in the Kharkiv incident.

Police reported drone strikes in the towns of Lozova and Zmiyiv in the Kharkiv region damaged residential buildings and vehicles. No casualties were immediately reported.

In Zmiyiv, the Energy Ministry reported that a power plant was damaged. The ministry also said a solar power plant in the Dnipropetrovsk region was damaged by Russian bombing.

Explosions were reported in the southern city of Zaporizhzhya on the morning of April 4.

On April 2, a suspected Ukrainian drone strike in the Russian region of Tatarstan, more than 1,000 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, target an industrial zone where Iranian-made Shahed drones would be assembled. On April 3, Tatarstan’s leader Rustam Minnikhanov warned local businesses to defend themselves against possible airstrikes.

“You don’t have to wait until the air defenses start working to solve your problems,” he said. “We have to solve them with our own resources – every business, every town, every city. »

The U.S. Institute for the Study of War wrote April 3 that Russia could step up drone and missile strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, particularly its energy network, “to further pressure the Ukrainian command to that it deploys air defense systems far from the front.” .”

Russia denies targeting civilians since its large-scale invasion began in February 2022, but Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure are regularly hit by missile and drone attacks. In February, a consortium of Ukrainian and international humanitarian organizations reported that at least 10,500 Ukrainian civilians had been killed by “constant shelling, mines and drone attacks” over the previous two years.


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