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Ukraine: Delayed US aid is taking daily toll of lost lives

Cheap and effective, Russian drones continue to take Ukrainian lives.

Cheap and effective, Russian drones continue to take Ukrainian lives. Photo: Iran Wire

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy has laid blame for the latest civilian victims of a Russian missile strike at the feet of the US for delaying the delivery of vital weaponry and defence technology.

The Russian drone claimed multiple victims, including an infant and a two-year-old — deaths Zelenskiy says would likely not have happened if Ukraine had the means to defend itself..

Seven Western leaders have signed 10-year security agreements with Ukraine in the last two months as Kyiv fights to plug a big hole in stockpiles with a vital package of US military assistance stuck in Congress and facing months of Republican opposition.

“When lives are lost, and partners are simply playing internal political games or disputes, limiting our defence, it’s impossible to understand,” Zelenskiy said.

As emergency services posted images of bodies being pulled from the rubble of an apartment block in the southern port city of Odesa, he also used his nightly video address to deliver a strong message to his new army chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi, who replaced Valeriy Zaluzhnyi in a shakeup last month.

“The commander-in-chief has carte blanche for personnel changes in the army, in the headquarters, for any changes,” Zelenskiy said.
He said he expected a “detailed report and specific proposals for further changes” from Syrskyi when he returns from the front early in the week.

Rescue workers pulled eight bodies out of the rubble while the search for more casualties went late into the night.

Zelenskiy said earlier that the Russians used an Iranian-supplied Shahed drone which destroyed 18 apartments in a single apartment block.

Oleh Kiper, the regional governor, said the adults killed included three men aged 35, 40 and 54, and two women aged 31 and 73. Eight people were wounded, including a three-year-old girl.

‘Terror can be opposed’

Zelenskiy said Russian attacks using Iranian-supplied Shahed drones “make no military sense” and were intended only to kill and intimidate.

“The world knows that terror can be opposed,” he said.

“Delaying the supply of weapons to Ukraine, missile defence systems to protect our people, leads, unfortunately, to such losses.”

Zelenskiy identified the youngest victims of the attack as four-month-old Tymofiy and Mark, aged two.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said the infant was found dead alongside his mother and posted a photograph of a rescue worker next to a bloodied blanket, a baby’s arm visible on one side and an adult arm extending out the other.

Smoke poured from rubble strewn across the ground where the drone had ripped a chunk several storeys high out of the building

Clothes and furniture were scattered in the ruined mass of concrete and steel hanging off the side of the apartment block.

Ukraine’s State Emergencies Service posted photos including of a dead toddler being placed in a body bag by rescuers.

“This is impossible to forget. This is impossible to forgive,” it said in a statement. It said five people, including a child, had been rescued alive.

Several thousand long-range, winged, Shahed drones have been fired at targets inside Ukraine since Moscow’s full-scale invasion two years ago.

-AAP

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