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"Unacceptable, must end immediately": UN Secretary-General Guterres on Russian missile strikes on Ukraine

Kyiv [Ukraine]: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, "in the strongest terms", condemned the large-scale missile strikes by Russia on Ukraine, that have caused widespread destruction, and have reportedly killed and injured many civilians.

In an official statement, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq said the Secretary-General was "appalled by the continued killing and destruction".

"The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms today's large-scale missile and drone attacks by the Russian Federation on Ukrainian cities and towns across the country, including against civilians, energy and other critical infrastructure," Haq quoted Guterres as saying.

The strikes have inflicted severe damage, including on the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant in the Zaporizhzhia region.

"The Secretary-General is appalled by the continued killing and destruction and once again underlines that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law. They are unacceptable and must end immediately," the statement read.

"The attacks reportedly killed and injured many civilians and caused major damage, including to the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant in the Zaporizhzhia region, leaving more than one million Ukrainians without access to electricity and water in Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih, and Zaporizhzhia," it added.

Russia plundered Kyiv with a barrage of missiles on Thursday, injuring at least 13 people and damaging several residential buildings and industrial facilities, in what was the biggest assault on the Ukrainian capital in weeks, the New York Times reported, citing local officials.

The Ukrainian Air Force said its air defence systems had intercepted all 31 of the Russian missiles that targeted Kyiv. But, still, the debris from the downed missiles fell in various parts of the city, causing injuries and damage.

No deaths have been reported so far.

"Such terror continues every day and night," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a social media post to which he tagged a video purportedly showing firefighters dousing burning buildings with water.

The attack took place in the early hours of the day, with loud blasts jolting residents awake around 5 am (local time) as air defence systems went into action. Many people rushed to take shelter in subway stations.

Several orange fireballs lit up the sky, apparently the result of missile interceptions. Air-raid alerts ended at 6:10 am (locKyiv Mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said that missile debris had caused fires in at least three residential buildings and in parking lots.

He said on Telegram that emergency responders had been deployed to help victims. Four people were hospitalised, the city's military administration time) just as the sun rose, revealing the damage.

Thursday's assault came at a difficult time for Ukraine's military, with Russian forces pressing ahead with ground attacks at several locations along the front line of more than 600 miles, the New York Times reported.

Faced with a shortfall of troops and ammunition, Ukraine has struggled to contain Russian assaults in its east and south.

Ukrainian officials have vowed to launch a counteroffensive this year, but experts say the military has yet to receive the kinds of weapons that would let it regain the initiative on the battlefield, with American aid held up in Congress.

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