Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Attacks Dnipropetrovsk with Missiles, Drones

Aftermath of Russian missile attack in Dnipro
Aftermath of Russian missile attack in Dnipro

New developments:

  • Barrage of Russian missiles and drones launched against Dnipropetrovsk.
  • Russia knocks out a high-tension line supplying external power to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine says.
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy left the G-7 meeting in Japan with reassurances that Kyiv’s allies will see out the fight.

Ukrainian officials said Monday that Russian forces used missiles and drones to carry out overnight attacks on the Dnipropetrovsk region, leaving buildings damaged and at least eight people injured.

Governor Serhiy Lysak, in a post on Telegram, said the damage included residential buildings and vehicles.

Ukraine’s air force, also on the Telegram messaging app, posted that the Russian attack involved 16 missiles and 20 Shahed drones, and that Ukrainian air defenses shot down four cruise missiles and 20 drones.

Russia has intensified its aerial assault on Ukraine in recent weeks as Ukraine plans a counteroffensive aimed at reclaiming territory from Russian forces.

The Ukrainian state nuclear power operator said Monday that Russian shelling knocked out a high-tension line supplying external power to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Energoatom said on Telegram that the plant was forced to run on diesel backup generators for several hours before power was restored.


In Hiroshima, G7 Leaders Grapple With Nuclear Threat

Energoatom said Monday’s cut was the seventh since Russian forces seized control of the plant in the early stages of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The plant is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly expressed concern about safety and security dangers there amid the ongoing conflict.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi tweeted Monday that the nuclear safety situation was “extremely vulnerable.”

“We must agree to protect plant now; this situation cannot continue,” Grossi said.

#Ukraine’s #ZNPP this morning lost all external electricity for 7th time during conflict, forcing it to rely on emergency diesel generators for power; nuclear safety situation at the plant extremely vulnerable. We must agree to protect plant now; this situation cannot continue.

— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) May 22, 2023

Bakhmut fight

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday at the close of the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, that the obliteration of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut by Russian forces harkens back to the Hiroshima bombing at the end of WWII.

“Hiroshima is a rebuilt city now. And we dream of rebuilding all of our cities that are now in ruins, and every village where not a single house is left intact after Russian strikes,” Zelenskyy said.


Zelenskyy Addresses G7 as Leaders Increase Pressure on Russia

The Ukrainian leader delivered the warning that if the world does not unite against Russia, it will only be “a matter of time before other criminals in public office want to start similar wars,” adding, “I am here in Hiroshima so that the world can hear the Ukrainian call for unification from here.”

Zelenskyy contested Russia’s claims Sunday that it had occupied Bakhmut.

On Saturday, Russia said it had seized the beleaguered city after a nine-month battle there. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian troops and Wagner forces for their victory.


Wagner Group Chief Slams Russian Military, Says It Fled Bakhmut

Meanwhile, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, said Sunday he had visited front-line positions near Bakhmut and thanked the Ukrainian troops defending the area.

Syrskyi said in a post on Telegram that Kyiv's forces still controlled a part of Bakhmut, albeit an insignificant area. He noted, however, that their foothold would be enough to advance into the devastated city once the tide turned.

He said Kyiv's forces controlling the suburbs were forming a “tactical encirclement” around Russian troops in the city.


'Exhaust Them:' Why Ukraine Has Fought Russia for Every Inch of Bakhmut, Despite High Cost

G-7 support for Ukraine

At a G-7 news conference Sunday in Hiroshima, U.S. President Joe Biden said that Western allies “will not waver” in their support for Ukraine.

Biden said the major powers would remain united behind Ukraine against Russian aggression. He also announced Sunday a new $375 million package of military aid to Ukraine.


G7 Communique Amps Up Pressure on China, Russia

Meeting with the Ukrainian leader on the sidelines of the G-7 summit, Biden said the military aid package included ammunition, artillery, armored vehicles and training.

“Together with the entire G-7, we have Ukraine’s back and I promise we're not going anywhere,” Biden told Zelenskyy.

Biden affirmed U.S. support for a joint effort with allied and partner nations to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter aircraft such as the F-16.

Biden told reporters that he had received a “flat assurance” from Zelenskyy that Ukraine would not use Western-provided F-16 fighter jets to go into Russian territory and that such warplanes would be used “wherever Russian troops are within Ukraine and the area.”


Zelenskyy Meets Leaders in Hiroshima as G7 Agrees on F-16s for Ukraine

But Ukraine has not yet won commitments to receive F-16 jets from allies.

Responding to a question by VOA’s Russian service at the G-7 Summit, Zelenskyy said that discussions on the delivery of F-16 have come a “step further," starting with the training of Ukrainian pilots on the aircraft, which he affirmed that Ukraine plans to complete as soon as possible.

“We will be working for these people to be as educated as possible, as trained and experienced as possible with huge experience to decrease this process of training to make it short,” he told VOA. “I cannot tell you how many aircraft we'll be able to get. I cannot tell you definitely when it will take place, but we will speed it up because it's important for us every day. We're losing our people.”

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.