Belarus protests after ‘Ukrainian missile’ falls on its territory, as Russia launches another wave of attacks
The state-run Belarus news agency BelTA reported that a Ukrainian S-300 missile had fallen on to the territory of Belarus during one of Russia’s largest missile attacks against Ukraine since the start of the war.
The Ukrainian ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry in Minsk to receive a formal protest after the spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs said the missile landing on Belarussian soil was “extremely serious”.
Russia launched a wave of missile attacks across Ukraine on Thursday morning, with Ukraine’s air force claiming it shot down 54 Russian winged cruise missiles out of 69 launched into Ukraine from Rostov in Russia, the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, acknowledged that most regions were suffering power outages after the attacks but he said the damage would have been worse without “heroic” air defence. Zelenskiy, in a video address on Thursday night, said air commands in central, southern, eastern and western Ukraine repelled 54 Russian missiles and 11 drones during one of Russia’s biggest aerial assaults since it started the war in February.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, stated that three people were known to have been injured in the capital, including a 14-year-old girl. Two people had been rescued from a private house that had been struck by debris. Klitschko said 40% of the capital’s consumers were without electricity after the missile attack.
Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, pledged that Rome would continue to help Kyiv’s war effort and that she would visit before the end of February.
The UK will commit £2.3bn in aid to Ukraine in 2023, said the UK’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace.
Kazakhstan was preparing to deport a Russian security officer who fled his country because he objected to the invasion of Ukraine and hoped to find refuge in the west, his wife said on Thursday. As an officer of the Federal Protective Service (FSO), tasked with protecting the Russian president, Major Mikhail Zhilin, 36, was barred from leaving Russia and illegally crossed into Kazakhstan in September when it became clear he could be sent to Ukraine.