Ukraine’s No. 2 City Hit by Russian Guided Bomb

(Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian authorities said the northeastern city of Kharkiv was hit with a guided bomb on Wednesday, killing at least one person and injuring others in the first such strike on the city since the war began over two years ago.

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The attack on a block of apartment buildings in Ukraine’s second-largest city injured at least 19 people, regional Governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram. The 30-centimeter diameter missile, with a range of up to 90 kilometers (56 miles), has the explosive force of a projectile “between an aerial bomb and a missile,” the governor said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was on a front-line tour in the near Sumy region along the Russian border, called for additional Patriot missile batteries for air defense.

“There are no rational explanations for why Patriots, which are plentiful around the world, are still not covering the skies of Kharkiv and other cities and communities under attack by Russian terrorists,” Zelenskiy said.

Russian forces have been increasingly deploying guided bombs dropped from fighter jets to pound Ukrainian positions along the front line, effectively obliterating parts of cities like Avdiivka, which the Kremlin’s military seized this year, to whittle down defenses.

Read More: Power Outages Persist in Ukraine’s Kharkiv After Russian Strikes

In the early state of the invasion launched in February 2022, Kremlin forces approached Kharkiv, but were unable to seize it. The city, whose prewar population was more than 1 million, still faced water, heating and power shortages at the beginning of the week after a missile barrage on Friday.

After a set of massive missile barrages last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military pivoted to more targeted strikes with ballistic missiles, which are harder to shoot down. The precision weapon used in Kharkiv was a free-falling bomb converted with a guidance system and glide kit, functioning at a fraction of the cost of producing missiles.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian authorities targeted the southern city of Mykolayiv in a missile attack, probing the country’s capability to down high-speed ballistic targets. At least six people were injured in the attack on the city near the Black Sea, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.

On Monday, Kyiv was attacked with two ballistic missiles whose debris inflicted significant damage, despite the ability of air-defense systems to intercept them. Mykolayiv, a Dnipro River delta city, has been a target of regular Russian attacks since the start of the invasion in 2022.

(Corrects error in 8 paragraph which incorrectly said Ukrainian authorities targeted the southern city of Mykolayiv, corrects number of injured in deck head.)

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