Kyiv: Amid Russia’s claims of not targeting residential areas during the escalating Ukraine-Russia situation, another missile has hit a residential building in Ukraine on Monday. According to Ukraine’s state service of special communications, “A rocket hit a residential building in the centre of Chernihiv. A fire broke out, two lower floors are on fire. The number of injured is currently unknown.”
Earlier, the agency had said blasts were heard in Kyiv and Kharkiv in the morning. “Explosions are heard again in Kyiv and Kharkiv. Before that, it was calm in the Ukrainian capital for several hours,” it added. The Kyiv Independent had also reported an air raid alert that sounded in the city in the early morning.
In a telephonic conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said “the next 24 hours are a crucial period for Ukraine”. The UK has said that an additional £40 million will be sent to provide vital medical supplies and assistance to Ukraine, even as global economic sanctions begin to hit the Russian economy.
News agency Reuters has reported that the rouble, the official currency of Russia, plunged to an all-time low on Monday, and the dollar soared against nearly all peers after Western nations announced fresh sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Early trading saw the rouble drop to as low as 119 per dollar, way past its previous low of 90 per dollar.
Meanwhile, amid the escalating Ukraine-Russia situation, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has, for the first time since 1982, called for a UN General Assembly (UNGA) emergency special session, to be held today. Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the UNGA, will preside over the session.
Today marks the fifth day since Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine, leading to heavy fighting and airstrikes across the country. According to the Government of Ukraine, 352 civilians have been killed since Russia invaded the country. On Sunday, Ukraine agreed to hold peace talks with Russia at the Belarus border.
On the other hand, Russian President Putin has directed his Defence Minister and chief of the military’s General Staff to put the country’s nuclear deterrent forces in a “special regime of combat duty.” Responding to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Belgium, Finland and Canada have joined the list of countries that have shut down their airspace to Russian planes. Western nations led by the US have also announced a new set of economic sanctions on Russia.