Ukraine crisis: Russian rockets raze Dnipro airport
Russian forces continued shelling targets in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, as Washington said it would meet Kyiv’s request for more military aid by providing “the weapons it needs” to defend itself against Russia.
Russia has failed to take any major cities since it launched its invasion on February 24, but Ukraine says it has been gathering its forces in the east for a major assault and has urged people to flee.
Russian forces fired rockets into Ukraine’s Luhansk and Dnipropetrovsk regions on Sunday, officials said. Missiles completely destroyed the airport in the city of Dnipro, said Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the central Dnipropetrovsk region.
Russia’s defence ministry said high-precision missiles had destroyed the headquarters of Ukraine’s Dnipro battalion in the town of Zvonetsky. Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports.
Since Russia invaded, Zelensky has appealed to western powers to provide more defence help, and to punish Moscow with tough sanctions.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC News: “We’re going to get Ukraine the weapons it needs to beat back the Russians to stop them from taking more cities and towns.”
In extracts from an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” Zelensky said he had confidence in his own armed forces but “unfortunately I don’t have the confidence that we will be receiving everything we need” from the US.
Zelensky said earlier on Twitter he had spoken on the phone with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about additional sanctions, as well as more defence and financial support for his country. Zelensky also discussed with Ukrainian officials Kyiv’s proposals for a new package of EU sanctions, his office said.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday, will travel to Russia to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, the Austrian government said. He will be the first European Union leader to have a face-to-face meeting with Putin since the invasion.
In a video address late on Saturday, Zelensky renewed his appeal for a total ban on Russian energy products and more weapons for Ukraine. The EU on Friday banned Russian coal imports among other products, but has yet to touch oil and gas imports from Russia.
Mounting civilian casualties have triggered widespread international condemnation and new sanctions.
A grave with at least two civilian bodies has been found in Buzova village near Kyiv, said Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova, the latest such reported discovery since Russian forces withdrew from areas north of the capital to focus on the east of the country.
Sullivan said on Sunday he expected Russia’s newly appointed general overseeing Ukraine, Aleksandr Dvornikov, to authorise more brutality against the Ukrainian civilian population. He did not cite any evidence.
Moscow has rejected accusations of war crimes by Ukraine and western countries.