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Russia escalated its aerial bombardment of Ukrainian cities by launching missiles against Kyiv for the third time in five days. The attack injured nine people and caused damage to homes and buildings in various districts of the capital. In a daylight attack, Russia fired two ballistic missiles at Kyiv from occupied Crimea, but they were intercepted above the city. Later in the day, there were reports of explosions in the southern city of Odesa as Russian missile strikes targeted other regions, although there was no immediate information on injuries or damage there.

The recent attacks by Russia come after a six-week hiatus in which the country attacked Kyiv, firing more than two dozen missiles, and then unleashed a massive attack on Ukraine’s energy sector in retaliation for strikes on Russian soil. Tensions have been high between the two countries, with days of intense shelling by Ukraine on the Russian border region of Belgorod leading to plans for the evacuation of about 9,000 children from the area. The bombardment of Kyiv also followed a deadly attack in Russia that left over 130 people dead, which Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to tie to Ukraine, despite an Islamic State affiliate claiming responsibility.

Analysts believe that Putin may use the Moscow attack as a way to gain support for the war and as a justification to escalate attacks on Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has continued to plead for more air defense systems from Western countries in order to protect against the ongoing onslaught of attacks. He emphasized that providing more air defense is crucial for the security of Ukrainian cities and to save human lives in the face of relentless Russian aggression.

The situation in Ukraine remains dire as Russia continues to target various regions, including Kyiv, with missile strikes. The escalation of the conflict has resulted in casualties and damage to infrastructure, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the country. The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has drawn international concern and calls for a peaceful resolution to the crisis, but so far, the attacks show no signs of abating. The need for greater support from Western partners, including air defense systems, remains a top priority for Ukraine as it struggles to defend itself against Russian aggression.

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