A day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to warn of more attacks inside Russia, two Russian missiles slammed into an apartment building and a university complex in his hometown of Kryvyi Rih on Monday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens of others, Ukrainian . officials said.
The unusually pointed warning from Ukraine’s leader followed a series of apparent Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory, suggesting Kiev was stepping up its efforts to bring the war home to the Russians. But Russia’s weapons have proven far more deadly to civilians, as they were again Monday in Kryvyi Rih, a steel-producing central Ukrainian city about 100 miles from the front lines.
Serhii Lysak, the head of the region’s military administration, said six people had been killed and 75 wounded. More than 20 of them were hospitalized, he wrote a message on Telegram.
Shortly after the attack, Mr. Zelensky a video from the scene that showed smoke pouring from a building that had a gaping hole where several upper floors had been. Hours later, he said Russia had used Iskander ballistic missiles in the attack, adding that a 10-year-old girl and her mother were among the dead.
“An ordinary family in an ordinary town whose life was destroyed by Russian killers,” he said in his nightly address.
Russian forces also shelled 130 towns and villages along the frontline on Monday, with some of the most intense fire targeting the southern port city of Kherson on the west bank of the Dnipro River, Ukrainian officials said. Four people were killed and 17 others wounded in the shelling, Andriy Yermak, the head of the presidential office, wrote on Telegram.
The head of the Kherson regional military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin, said the injured included utility workers and volunteers helping people still recovering from the floods that washed over their homes after Russia blew up a dam on the river in June.
Natalia Humeniuk, the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military’s Southern Command, said on national television that Russia was trying to escalate its attacks on the western bank of the river despite a shortage of ammunition.
Ms Humeniuk said Ukrainian attacks on key Russian logistical routes – particularly on bridges and roads linking the occupied Crimean peninsula with southern Ukraine and to Russia – made it difficult for Moscow to supply and redeploy its occupation forces.
Kyiv has increasingly vowed to bring the war closer to the Russians, largely abandoning a policy of strategic ambiguity regarding attacks inside Russia that it had maintained for much of the war.
In his nightly speech on Sunday night, after two drones struck buildings in the heart of the Russian capital, Mr Zelensky gave the clearest sign yet that Ukraine sees such strikes as a key tactic in the war.
“Gradually, the war is returning to Russia’s territory – to its symbolic centers and military bases,” he said. “And this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.”
Ukraine’s military intelligence service said Monday that attacks in Moscow and across Russia can be expected as long as Russian forces wage an unjust war.
“Until the occupying power leaves Ukrainian territory, until the criminals are punished, there are no safe places in the aggressor state,” said Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence service.