Russian drones kill 4 at Ukraine shelter, rival summits end

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia detonated drones at a student dormitory near Kiev before dawn Wednesday, killing at least four people, hours after Japan’s prime minister left the Ukrainian capital. On the same day, Chinese President Xi Jinping left Moscow After discussing his proposal to end the warIt was dismissed as non-starter by the West.

A high school and two dormitories were partially destroyed in an overnight drone strike in the town of Rzhishchiv, south of the Ukrainian capital, local officials said. It is unclear how many people were in the shelters at the time.

The body of a 40-year-old man was pulled from the rubble on the fifth floor of the shelter, regional police chief Andrii Nebytov said.

More than 20 people have been hospitalized, and some remain unaccounted for, Nebitov said.

Ukraine’s air defense forces shot down 16 of 21 drones launched by Russia, Ukraine’s civil service said. Eight of them were shot down near the capital, the city military administration said. Other drone strikes hit the central-western Khmelnytskyi province.

The drone barrage and other Russian overnight attacks that hit civilian infrastructure drew a stern response from President Volodymyr Zelensky, a day after Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed China’s proposals to end the war.

“More than 20 Iranian killer drones, missiles, numerous shelling, it was the last night of Russian terrorism,” Zelenskyy wrote in English on Twitter.

“Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given for such criminal strikes,” he wrote.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the current head of the Group of Seven, made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, throwing his support behind Zelensky’s government in favor of his Asian rival, Xi Putin.

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After returning to Poland on Wednesday morning, Kishida said that during his talks with Zelenskiy, Japan and the G-7 expressed an “unshakable commitment of solidarity” to Ukraine.

Kishida’s visit to Ukraine was “very meaningful” for Japan’s future support for the country, Japan’s top government spokesman said Wednesday.

“Through Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Ukraine, Japan was able to demonstrate its determination to defend a rules-based international society not only to other members of the G-7, but also to the international community, including the Global South (countries),” Hirokazu Matsuno said.

Kishida’s visit diverted attention from Xi’s trip to Moscow, where he promoted Beijing’s peace proposal for Ukraine, which the West had already rejected, to consolidate Moscow’s gains. Xi left Moscow early on Wednesday.

The visits by Xi and Kishida, some 800 kilometers (500 miles) apart, highlight how the countries have rallied behind Moscow or Kiev during the nearly 13-month war.

In a joint statement, Russia and China insisted that resolving the conflict “must respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries,” echoing Moscow’s argument that the United States and its NATO allies have sent troops to prevent the country from turning into adversaries. Russian fortress.

In contrast, Kishida called Russia’s invasion “a disgrace that undermines the foundations of the international legal order” and pledged “continuing support to Ukraine until peace returns to the beautiful Ukrainian lands.”

Ukraine’s finance ministry said on Wednesday it had agreed to a $15.6 billion loan package with the International Monetary Fund aimed at boosting Kyiv’s finances. Russia’s invasion has crippled the economy, and Ukrainian officials hope the IMF deal will encourage their allies to provide financial aid as well.

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