Russian missiles struck an apartment block and close to a kindergarten in Kyiv on Sunday, in strikes President Joe Biden condemned as “barbarism” as world leaders gathered in Europe to discuss further sanctions against Moscow.
Up to four explosions shook central Kyiv in the early hours, in the first such attack on the city in weeks.
“The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged an apartment building and a kindergarten,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s administration.
A Reuters photographer saw a large blast crater near a playground in a kindergarten that had smashed windows.
Deputy Mayor Mykola Povoroznyk said one person was killed and six wounded. He said explosions were heard later in other parts if Kyiv were air defenses destroying further incoming missiles.
Russia has stepped up air strikes on Ukraine this weekend, which has also seen the fall of a strategic eastern city to pro-Russian forces.
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Ukraine war could boost illegal drug production, says UN
The war in Ukraine could allow illegal drug production to flourish, while the opium market’s future hinges on the fate of crisis-wracked Afghanistan, the United Nations warned on Monday.
Previous experience from the Middle East and Southeast Asia suggests conflict zones can act as a “magnet” for making synthetic drugs, which can be manufactured anywhere, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its annual report.
“This effect may be greater when the conflict area is near large consumer markets.”
The UNODC said the number of dismantled amphetamine laboratories in Ukraine rose from 17 in 2019 to 79 in 2020, the highest number of seized laboratories reported in any country in 2020.
Ukraine’s capacity to produce synthetic drugs could grow as the war continues, it added.
“You don’t have police going around and stopping laboratories” in conflict zones, UNODC expert Angela Me told AFP.
Nato to pledge aid to Baltics and Ukraine, urge Turkey to let in Nordics
Nato leaders will urge Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to lift his veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the military alliance when they meet for a three-day summit on Tuesday, as the West strives to send Russia and China a signal of resolve.
Taking place in the shadow of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Madrid gathering comes at a pivotal moment for the transatlantic bond after failures in Afghanistan and internal discord during the era of former US President Donald Trump, who threatened to pull Washington out of the nuclear alliance .
Negotiations among an often-fractious organization are still under way, diplomats said, but leaders also hope to agree to provide more military aid to Ukraine, increase joint defense spending, cement a new resolve to tackle China’s military rise and put more troops on stand- by to defend the Baltics.
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