By The Associated Press
MOSCOW — The Kremlin is offering rare praise for the United States, applauding President Joe Biden’s “restrained” reaction to reports about a Russian-made missile landing in Poland.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday dismissed much of the reaction to the missile hit as “hysterical, frenzied.”
NATO allies are investigating how and why a missile that Poland said was Russian-made came down in Polish farmland, killing two, on Tuesday, amid a large-scale bombardment of Ukraine targets by Moscow’s forces.
Biden said it was “unlikely” that Russia fired the missile but added: “We’ll see.”
Elsewhere, officials expressed alarm that the war could be escalating and spread to neighboring countries.
Peskov said that “high-ranking officials from different countries made statements without having any idea what happened exactly, what caused it, and so on.”
Asked to comment on Tuesday’s barrage of strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Peskov said that “objects that directly or indirectly have to do with military infrastructure” were targeted.
— Poland says Russian-made missile fell in its east, killing 2
— NATO holds emergency talks after missile lands in Poland
— Biden: ‘Unlikely’ missile that hit Poland fired from Russia
— Biden asks for over $37 billion in emergency Ukraine aid
— Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s state-owned grid operator says power will be out across large areas of Ukraine on Wednesday after Russia’s biggest bombardment of the country’s energy infrastructure in the nearly nine-month war.
Ukrenergo said the outages will be both scheduled and unannounced, due to emergency work being carried out.
Russia fired over 90 missiles and over 10 attack drones at Ukraine on Tuesday, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. Ukrainian forces shot down 77 missiles and 11 drones, it said.
The Ukrainian energy minister said the attack was “the most massive” bombardment of power facilities in the nearly 9-month-old invasion, striking both power generation and transmission systems.
Ukraine’s presidential office says at least six civilians were killed on by the Russian attacks and another 17 were wounded.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Operational Command South says the Ukrainian army is shelling the left bank of the Dnieper River, where the Russian military recently dug in after retreating from the southern city of Kherson.
It said on its Facebook page that Ukrainian forces carried out more than 50 strikes around the Kinburn Spit, in Mykolaiv province, which is currently under the control of the Russian army.
The spit is said to be a key site for Russian electronic warfare and of strategic importance for coordinating Russian shelling of the right bank of the Dnieper River and southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces also destroyed ammunition depots in Nova Kakhovka and Oleshky on the Dnieper’s left bank, Operational Command South said.
In the eastern Donetsk province, the Russian army shelled seven towns and villages, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Heavy fighting is underway in the region for the city of Bakhmut.
Over the previous 24 hours, four civilians were killed and seven were wounded in the region. “Every day of the war raises the question of survival for those who are forced to live for months in basements without light and heat, fleeing from Russian shelling,” Kyrylenko said on Ukrainian TV.
KYIV, Ukraine — Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says two residential buildings were damaged on Tuesday during Russia’s “massive attack on the capital”, killing one elderly woman, but the Russian military denied responsibility.
Writing on Telegram on Wednesday, Klitschko said the entrance to one of the buildings — a five-story block — was significantly damaged. Residents were evacuated, and authorities are assessing the full extent of the damage.
But a spokesman for Russia’s defense ministry denied those claims, saying Moscow didn’t launch “a single missile attack on targets in the city of Kyiv” on Tuesday.
Igor Konashenkov blamed the damage in residential areas on “the fall and self-destruction” of anti-aircraft missiles fired by Ukrainian troops.
BRUSSELS — NATO allies are investigating how a Russian-made missile landed in Poland, killing two people close to the country’s eastern border with Ukraine.
Ambassadors from the 30 alliance nations gathered in Brussels on Wednesday for emergency talks.
The missile strike Tuesday deepened international tension over Moscow’s nearly nine-month war against Ukraine and added to fears of a possible escalation.
The missile hit a rural area of Poland near the border with Ukraine.
The strike underlined the perils of the war in Eastern Europe, which could spiral out of control and spread beyond Ukraine.
Poland said it was considering calling for emergency consultations under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, which provides for such talks if one of the 30 allies considers that its territory might be under threat. But Wednesday’s meeting did not appear to be Article 4 consultations.
Western officials are saying that even if the strike in Polish territory by a Russian-made missile was an accident, the blame still lies with Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau on Wednesday told Ukraine’s President that “whatever the outcome of that investigation, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is squarely to blame for the ongoing violence.”
“We should all be clear: None of this would be happening if it weren’t for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the British prime minister told reporters from a G-20 summit in Indonesia.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the summit it’s important to wait for the results of an investigation of Tuesday’s missile strike, near Poland’s border with Ukraine.
He said there can be no “premature conclusion on what happened before its careful investigation, in such a serious matter.”
The chief of general staff of the Czech Republic’s armed forces, Major General Karel Rehka, said: “Under the current circumstances, it is of utmost importance to keep calm, wait for more information and carefully asses the facts. That’s exactly what we, the soldiers, are doing now.”
BEIJING — China has called for calm over a missile striking a rural area of Poland near its border with Ukraine, where Russia is waging war against the Kyiv authorities.
“Under the current situation, all parties concerned should keep calm and exercise restraint and avoid escalation of the situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.
China has closely aligned its foreign policy with Russia in recent years. China has refused to criticize Russia’s aggression or even refer to it as an invasion, while criticizing sanctions and blaming the U.S. and NATO for provoking Putin, although it has gone so far as to provide Russia with military assistance.
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