Russia Attacks Ukraine’s Two Largest Cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv

Russian forces launched attacks on Ukraine’s two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv, on Sunday. Missile fragments fell on a suburban Kyiv apartment building, and a guided bomb killed one person in Kharkiv. These attacks come more than 28 months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the ongoing conflict and its impact on civilians and infrastructure.

In Kharkiv, located near the Ukraine-Russia border,  a guided bomb sparked a fire and resulted in the death of a delivery service driver outside a depot. Regional Governor Oleh Synehubov reported that nine people were injured, including an 8-month-old infant. Pictures posted online revealed significant damage to the depot and surrounding trucks. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated on Telegram that Russia had used over 800 guided bombs on Ukrainian targets in the past week, emphasizing the need for better weapons systems to counter these attacks. “The sooner the world helps us deal with the Russian combat aircraft launching these bombs, the sooner we can strike – justifiably strike – Russian military infrastructure…and the closer we will be to peace,” he said in his nightly video address.

The latest assault saw fragments from a Russian missile ignite a fire and damage balconies on a 14-story apartment building in Kyiv’s Obolon suburb. Emergency services, via the Telegram messaging app, reported that five female residents were treated for stress, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko confirmed the evacuation of 10 residents. Images shared online showed at least four blackened balconies, underscoring the severity of the attack. Additionally, missile fragments fell outside Kyiv, causing injuries and damage, though specific details were not provided.

These ongoing attacks on Ukrainian cities demonstrate the persistent threat posed by Russian forces. While Kyiv experiences attacks less frequently than other cities, it endured a series of assaults in March. Kharkiv, which never fell into Russian hands during the early stages of the war, faces regular attacks. Military analysts suggest that the frequency of these attacks has decreased since the United States authorized Ukrainian use of its weapons on specific Russian targets.

The history of this conflict dates back to the time when Ukraine became independent from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Since then, bordering regions with Russia like Luhansk and Donetsk, located in the Donbass,  have showed more keenness towards Moscow, politically, linguistically, and culturally. Since 2014, there had been an armed conflict between Pro-Ukrainian and Pro-Russian forces. Nonetheless, this regional conflict became national in February 2022, when Russian forces initially advanced on Kyiv but were ultimately prevented from capturing the city. They were then redeployed along the 1,000-km (600-mile) front line in the east. Since then, the war has inflicted significant damage on Ukrainian infrastructure and caused substantial civilian casualties. 

Looking ahead, the international community must prioritize effective and holistic peace processes to address the ongoing conflict. The continued attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure highlight the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to restore peace and security in the region. The global community’s support in providing advanced defense systems and diplomatic efforts is crucial in moving towards a resolution that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and ensures the safety of its citizens.