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Ukraine-Russia war live: At least 30 killed in Putin’s heaviest bombardment as as British medic confirmed dead

Poland reports aerial object after Russia uses hypersonic, ballistic and cruise missiles in worst attacks of war

The estimated number of civilians killed in co-ordinated air attacks across Ukraine by Russian forces in an 18-hour onslaught has risen to at least 30.

More than 144 people were injured and an unknown number were buried under rubble, the officials said. A maternity hospital, apartment blocks and schools were among buildings damaged.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia used every sort of weapon it has to launch the biggest aerial bombardment of the war, with 158 drones and hypersonic, ballistic and cruise missiles.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Russia’s attack “in the strongest terms”, saying attacks on civilians must end immediately.

Within hours, the UK announced it was sending Kyiv hundreds of defence missiles, ministers condemning Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “barbarity”.

Earlier, a Polish general said a Russian missile appeared to have entered the airspace of Nato member Poland, after an unidentified aerial object was spotted amid the Russian attacks on Ukraine.

A British woman who was volunteering as a combat medic in Ukraine was found dead in bed. Her family said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Putin must be stopped, Biden warns

US President Joe Biden said the 18-hour bombardment showed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “must be stopped”.

“The American people can be proud of the lives we have helped to save and the support we have given Ukraine as it defends its people, its freedom and its independence,” he said.

“But unless Congress takes urgent action in the new year, we will not be able to continue sending the weapons and vital air defence systems Ukraine needs to protect its people. Congress must step up and act without any further delay,” he said in a statement.

In pictures: Kyiv warehouse wrecked

UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting

The United Nations Security Council is set to discuss Russia’s attacks after Ukraine and its supporters requested an urgent meeting.

The meeting is due to begin soon, at 9pm UK time.

Ukraine‘s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said the attacks resulted in multiple civilian casualties and heavy destruction of civilian infrastructure.

Eight people killed in Zaporizhia

Eight people were killed and 13 wounded in the southeastern Zaporizhia region of Ukraine, the governor said. Civilian infrastructure facilities were also struck, he said.

As rescuers picked through the rubble of a strike that hit a house, Viktor Chuhunov, 73, said he had been at home when he suddenly heard a powerful explosion.

“A woman died here. I don’t know whether her son was at home, maybe he was at work,” he said of the ruined house.

Poland summons Russian diplomat over missile

Poland’s deputy foreign minister has summoned the Russian charge d’affaires over an airspace violation by a missile early, the ministry said.

Wladyslaw Teofil Bartoszewski handed the charge d’affaires of the Russian Federation a note in which he demanded an explanation of the incident involving the violation of Poland’s airspace by a missile and an immediate halt to such activities, the ministry wrote.

General Maciej Klisz, operational commander of the Polish armed forces, said the object probably spent less than three minutes in Polish airspace.

Ukraine troop numbers, and how they compare with US and UK armies

Ukrainian generals are looking to mobilise up to half a million new soldiers to push back Putin’s invading army. But how many troops does Ukraine have and how does this compare to the US and British armies?

Poland monitored ‘Russian missile’ in its airspace

Poland’s defence forces say an unknown object entered the country’s airspace on Friday morning from the direction of Ukraine and then vanished off radars, and that all indications pointed to it being a Russian missile.

“Everything indicates that a Russian missile intruded in Poland‘s airspace. It was monitored by us on radars and left the airspace. We have confirmation of this on radars and from allies” in Nato, said Poland‘s armed forces chief, General Wieslaw Kukula.

Poland‘s defence forces said the object penetrated about 40km (24 miles) into its airspace and left it after less than three minutes.

The defence forces said both its radar and Nato radar confirmed that the object left Polish airspace.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he had spoken to Poland‘s president about the missile incident and said Nato was vigilant and monitoring the situation “as the facts are established”.

UK condemns Russian ‘barbarity’ as it sends Kyiv more missiles after bombardments

The UK government has decided to send Ukraine hundreds of British-made air defence missiles as ministers condemned Russian “barbarity” for unleashing what is thought to be the biggest aerial bombardment since the war began.

Defence secretary Grant Shapps said: “Putin’s latest wave of murderous airstrikes are a desperate and futile attempt to regain momentum after the catastrophic loss of hundreds of thousands of conscripts and ahead of the humiliation of his three-day war entering a third calendar year.

“We continue to stand by Ukraine’s defence, which is why today we are sending hundreds of air defence missiles to restock British gifted air defence systems capable of striking down Russian drones and missiles with incredible accuracy.

“Putin is testing Ukraine‘s defences and the West’s resolve, hoping that he can clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. But he is wrong. Ukraine‘s degradation of the Russian Black Sea fleet has proven it is still in this fight to win.

“And today’s air defence package sends an undeniable message, in the face of Russian barbarity that the UK remains absolutely committed to supporting Ukraine.”

The shipment includes about 200 air defence missiles, ministers say.

British woman volunteering as combat medic found dead

More on Katherine Mielniczuk, who was in Ukraine to help give medical assistance:

Friends have paid tribute to Katherine Mielniczuk, calling her a ‘unique and passionate’ young woman

Source: Independent

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