Russian missile hits apartment in Ukraine, killing one

  • Kyiv, other cities suffer power, water cuts
  • Putin says missile attack ‘not all we can do’
  • Russia also suspends role in grain trade after it says its ship was hit
  • Zelensky says Russia is ‘blackmailing the world with starvation’

Kyiv, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Russia fired four missiles at the southern Ukrainian port city of Nikolayev overnight, destroying half of an apartment building and killing a resident, a day earlier. Russia fired a barrage of missiles at several cities, including the capital, Kyiv.

Rescuers recovered the body of an elderly woman from the rubble of an apartment building early on Tuesday, Reuters witnesses said.

During the rush hour, passersby passed a two-story school whose facade was torn apart by the force of the explosion, leaving a huge crater.

“That’s what savage tribes do,” said Irena Siden, a 48-year-old deputy director of the school, as she stood in front of the dilapidated building as workers began clearing the rubble.

“They (Russians) are descended from barbarian tribes. They stole our history and how they tried to steal our culture.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday’s missile strikes on several Ukrainian cities targeted infrastructure and decided to freeze participation in plans to export grains from the Black Sea in response to a drone strike on Moscow’s Crimea. Fleet’s response, which he blamed on Ukraine.

Putin told a news conference on Monday that the Ukrainian drones used the same sea corridor as the grain ships transiting under a UN-brokered deal.

Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack and has denied using the food program’s security corridor for military purposes. No grain ships were using the Black Sea route when Russia said its ships in Crimea were attacked on Saturday, the United Nations said.

Meanwhile, on the 250th day of the war that has begun since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 2. On the 24th, Russian missiles rained down across the country. An explosion in Kyiv sent black smoke into the sky.

Russian troops shelled infrastructure in at least six Ukrainian regions on Monday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said in a statement on Facebook.

“That’s not all we can do,” Putin said at a televised news conference, adding that more action was likely.

Ukrainian officials said energy infrastructure, including hydroelectric dams, had been attacked, disrupting electricity, heat and water supplies.

About 140,000 residents were without power after the attack, including about 50,000 in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, Olekh Sinihubov, the governor of the northeastern region of Kharkiv, said on Telegram.

Ukraine’s military said it shot down 44 of 50 Russian missiles. But authorities say the strike has left 80 percent of Kyiv without running water. Ukrainian police said 13 people were injured in the latest attack.

For the past three weeks, Russia has attacked Ukrainian civilian infrastructure using expensive long-range missiles and cheap Iranian-made “suicide drones” that fly at targets and detonate.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said 18 targets were hit on Monday in missile and drone strikes in 10 areas of Ukraine, mainly energy infrastructure.

Wheat prices rise

Moscow on Saturday announced the suspension of its role in the food program after accusing Ukraine of using aerial and maritime drones to target ships in the Gulf of Sevastopol. It suggested that one of the drones may have been launched from a civilian vessel leased to export grain from a Ukrainian port.

“Ukraine must guarantee that it does not pose a threat to civilian ships or to Russian supply ships,” Putin said on Monday, noting that under the terms of the food deal, Russia was responsible for ensuring security.

Despite Moscow’s actions, 12 ships carrying grain sailed from Ukrainian ports on Monday, Ukrainian and United Nations officials said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country would go ahead with the plan, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July, aimed at alleviating global hunger.

“We understand what we offer the world. We offer stability to the food production market,” Zelensky told a news conference. He said earlier that Moscow was “blackmailing the world with starvation”. Russia denies that was its purpose.

The U.S. State Department said on Monday that the suspension of Russia’s participation had a “direct and detrimental” impact on global food security amid rising food prices amid uncertainty over the Black Sea grain deal.

News of Moscow’s withdrawal from the deal sent global wheat prices soaring more than 5 percent on Monday morning.

Still, the continued flow of grain exports from Ukrainian ports suggests that a new world food crisis has been avoided for now.

Both Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest food exporters. For three months, the UN-backed deal has guaranteed Ukrainian exports access to the market, lifting a de facto Russian blockade.

Vessels sailing Monday included one employed by the United Nations’ World Food Program to deliver 40,000 tonnes of grain to drought-stricken Africa.

Also on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said Moscow had completed part of the military mobilization that Putin announced in September and would not issue further call-up notices.

Putin announced on September 9 Russia’s first mobilization since World War II. On the 21st, one of a series of escalation measures in response to Ukraine’s gains on the battlefield.

Defense Minister Shoigu said at the time that about 300,000 additional personnel would be called in. But the mobilization process was chaotic, with thousands fleeing Russia to avoid conscription.

Reporting by Reuters Division, Writing by Cynthia Osterman and Michael Perry; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Stephen Coates

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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