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Zelensky Calls for Air Defenses After Russian Missiles Target Kyiv

Kyiv after Russian missile attack. State Emergency Service of Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the West to deliver air defense systems to Kyiv after an overnight Russian missile attack injured 17 in the capital and surrounding region.

Ukraine's air force said it shot down 31 Russian missiles targeting Kyiv, an attack that comes after Moscow vowed to respond to an escalation in Ukrainian strikes on its border regions.

"Such terror continues every day and night," Zelensky said in a post on Telegram.

"It is possible to put an end to it through global unity... Russian terrorists do not have missiles capable of bypassing Patriot and other leading world systems," he said.

A $60-billion U.S. military aid package for Ukraine is currently held up in Congress amid domestic political arguments.

Local officials said falling debris from the missiles injured 17 — 13 in Kyiv and four in the surrounding region.

The air force said Russia fired two Iskander ballistic missiles and 29 cruise missiles, launched from strategic bombers.

Oleksiy Kuleba, deputy head of Zelensky's office, said all of them were shot down.

Zelensky posted a video of windows blown out of a residential building and debris strewn across the street as firefighters used water hoses on the smoking building.

It was the first attempted missile strike on the Ukrainian capital since early February, said Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration.

The attack comes after a sharp escalation in Ukrainian strikes on Russian border regions and oil refineries over the last two weeks.

On Thursday, the Russian governor of the Belgorod region, on the border with Ukraine, said five people were injured in the latest aerial bombardment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Russia had a "plan" for how to respond to the uptick in Ukrainian attacks on Russian border regions, where he vowed to restore security.

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