A view shows a site of a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Chernihiv, Ukraine, on Aug. 19, 2023.
Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday vowed stern retaliation for a Russian missile strike in the center of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv that killed seven people and wounded almost 150 others the day before.
“I am sure our soldiers will respond to Russia for this terrorist attack. Respond tangibly,” Zelenskyy said in a video address published in the early hours of Sunday at the end of a visit to Sweden, his first foreign trip since attending a NATO summit in Lithuania last month.
He identified a 6-year-old girl named Sofia as among the dead in the attack and confirmed that the wounded included 15 children.
The governor of the Chernihiv region, Vyacheslav Chaus, said Sunday that the total number of people confirmed to have been wounded had risen to 148.
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Further east, Russian forces shelled the city of Kupiansk on Sunday morning, seriously wounding a man, according to Kharkiv regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov. A man was killed later on Sunday in Russian shelling of Vovchansk, also in the Kharkiv region, according to Ukraine’s Internal Affairs Ministry.
Zelenskyy arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday, two days after the country said the United States had given its approval for Dutch and Danish authorities to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine’s air force.
At a military air base in the southern city of Eindhoven, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Zelenskyy that the Netherlands and Denmark are committing to deliver F-16 warplanes to Ukraine.
Rutte said the planes would be delivered once unspecified conditions were met.
The announcement came minutes after Rutte and Zelenskyy inspected two gray F-16 jets parked in a hangar at the base.
The U.S. approval Friday for the Netherlands and Denmark to deliver American-made F-16s to Ukraine was seen as a major boost for Kyiv, even though the fighter jets won’t have an impact any time soon on the almost 18-month war.
Meanwhile in Russia on Sunday, the Defense Ministry said Sunday that its air defense systems had prevented an attack by two drones on the neighboring Belgorod region, which also borders Ukraine.
In a separate statement, Belgorod regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said that 12 airborne targets had been shot down while approaching the regional capital, also called Belgorod.
Meanwhile, Russian air defenses jammed a drone flying towards Moscow early Sunday causing it to crash. Russia’s Defense Ministry called it “an attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack.”
Moscow’s Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports briefly suspended flights, but no victims or damage were reported.
In the city of Kursk, five people were wounded when a Ukrainian drone hit a train station, regional Gov. Roman Starovoit said. Kursk is the capital of the western region of the same name, which borders Ukraine.
According to Starovoit, the drone crashed into the roof of the railway station building, with a fire subsequently breaking out on the roof.
Later on Sunday, Starovoit reported that a drone attack on an electrical substation on Saturday had left over 5,500 people in two districts without power, which was later restored.
Ukrainian authorities, which generally avoid commenting on attacks on Russian soil, didn’t say whether it launched the attacks.
Drone strikes on the Russian border regions are a fairly regular occurrence. Attacks deeper inside Russian territory have been on the rise since a drone was destroyed over the Kremlin in early May. Successful strikes have exposed the vulnerabilities of Moscow’s air defense systems.