A Russian airstrike killed at least 11 Ukrainian civilians and wounded 28 more on Tuesday, multiple reports say, as Russian forces retaliate against a widespread Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The Russian missile struck a residential building in Kryvyi Rih, a city already facing devastation from the Kakhovka dam breach last week. Serhiy Lysak, the governor of the Dnipro region surrounding the city, confirmed that 12 of the 28 people injured required medical treatment at a hospital.
Kryvyi Rih is also the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and he released a video showing the damage from the attack on Tuesday.
Ukrainian forces across the country are engaged in a massive counterattack against Russian forces, deploying Western-made tanks in an effort to break through Russian defenses. While Ukrainian troops have so far taken some seven villages, they have yet to make a major breakthrough since the offensive began last week.
Russian officials did not confirm Ukraine’s gains, which have not been verified. The gains amounted to only small bits of territory and underscored the difficulty of the battle ahead for Ukrainian forces, who will have to fight meter by meter to regain the roughly one-fifth of their country under Russian occupation.
The U.S. is poised to deliver 31 M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine by this fall, bolstering the country’s armored capabilities after European countries delivered many German-made Leopard IIs earlier this year.
The Pentagon is also likely to send depleted-uranium shells along with the tanks, despite some misgivings within President Biden’s administration. The shells allow Abrams tanks to penetrate the frontal armor of Russian counterparts even from long range.
Ukrainian troops are currently training on how to use and maintain Abrams vehicles in Germany. The turbine-engine battle tanks are highly advanced and require skilled maintenance, a key reason for the Pentagon’s initial hesitance to deliver the vehicles to Ukraine.