Ukrainian officials announced that Russian forces launched missile strikes targeting a number of cities in separate parts of the country. The officials confirmed that the air defenses around the capital, Kiev, were able to shoot down 11 Russian cruise missiles, in addition to shooting down two drones, noting that the Russian bombing killed at least two people in the city of Dnipro. Explosions rocked Kiev last night, as sirens sounded and explosions were reported across Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian news agency Interfax, reports of explosions also came from Dnipro, Kremenchuk and Poltava in central Ukraine and Mykolaiv in the south after midnight. The attacks come a day after the Kremlin declared its welcome to anything that might contribute to bringing the end of the conflict in Ukraine closer, in reference to a phone call made by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy last Wednesday. It was the first time the two leaders had spoken since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine in February last year, but the Kremlin said it still needed to achieve the goals of its own military operation in Ukraine.
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