Ukraine war updates: Russia fires missiles at several regions

Tuesday, 15 August 2023 (15:43 IST)
Russia unleashed a new wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities early Tuesday morning.
Explosions were heard in the western Ukrainian region of Lviv and Lutsk, as well as in the east-central Ukrainian city of Dnipro.
According to preliminary information, one person was injured in Dnipro and several people in Lutsk. At least three people have been killed in the Volyn region.
Here's an overview of some of the main stories concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Tuesday, August 15: 
UN office in Ukraine condemns Russian strikes on civilians
The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ukraine released a statement on Tuesday condemning today's wave of Russian strikes that hit civilian targets across the country.
"Today, a wave of attacks shook cities in the west, north and centre of Ukraine, causing damage to homes, a kindergarten and other civilian infrastructure that are hundreds of kilometres away from the front line," the statement said.
"These are the parts of the country where millions of people are seeking safety and refuge after fleeing the horrors of Russia’s invasion."
"Russia’s persistent attacks hitting essential infrastructure in populated areas cause immense human suffering," the statement added.
Finally, the office called for an end to "this brutal pattern of civilian harm."
Russian says Kyiv's military resources are 'almost exhausted'
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Ukraine's military resources were almost at an end, during a speech at the Moscow Conference on National Security.
"Preliminary results of the hostilities show that Ukraine's military resources are almost exhausted," he said.
Ukraine is being supported by a large number of western states including the US, Germany and the UK which have spent billions on providing Ukraine with modern weapons and ammunition.
Shoigu acknowledged this support, saying that Russia was not just facing Ukraine, but the "collective West," according to state-run news agency TASS, but went on to say that nothing was vulnerable to Russian weapons.
Russia reacts to falling ruble with interest rate hike
The Russian central bank increased its key interest rate to 12% on Tuesday as it battles with a sharp depreciation of the ruble against the US dollar and euro in recent weeks.
The Russian currency has lost almost a third of its value since the beginning of the year as its export revenues tumble while imports remain high, and while government spending is diverted to funding the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Russia's Black Sea blockade chokes Ukraine's grain export: DW Report
Russia's blockade in the Black Sea and consistent attacks on Ukrainian ports is disrupting the supply of food grains the global south, DW correspondent Amien Essif reports from Kyiv.
Agricultural trade accounted for 40% of Ukraine's exports in 2021, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, and is key to its economic health.
Moscow has stepped up attacks on Ukrainian ports since Russia pulled out of a deal that the UN and Turkey brokered to provide protection for ships carrying Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, Russia had further warned that it would blow up any ships in the region.
Despite a year of good agricultural output, farmers Essif spoke with said they have only been able to move a small fraction of their stores. The rest, remains in storage, waiting for a solution.
"This is the grain that feeds the whole world. Ukraine feeds perhaps 20% of the world, we have a lot of grain. All these countries around the world, especially in Africa are waiting for our grain but we can't export it," one farmer said.
Poland to hold biggest military parade since Cold War
Poland is sets to see its biggest military parade since the Cold war, on Tuesday, in a perceived message to both Russia and general voters ahead of the elections in October. 
The Armed Forces Day parade is taking place on the 103rd anniversary of the country's victory over the Soviet Union in the historic battle of Warsaw. It will include 2,000 soldiers from Poland and other NATO countries march through Warsaw with 200 items of military equipment and 92 aircrafts.
The NATO-member's military flex comes after Russia's war in Ukraine forced Poland's ruling party to boost its armed forces. 
"This parade will be different from the previous ones; we will be able to see how the process of modernizing the equipment of the Polish Army is progressing," Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak had said on Sunday.
The opposition, however, has criticized using the military for its own personal gain. "Using the Polish Army for electoral agitation is a disgrace to PiS... No to the politicisation of the army!," Michal Szczerba, a lawmaker from the largest opposition party, the liberal Civic Platform (PO), wrote on social media.
Why Ukraine wants Germany's Taurus missile
During his first visit to the country since Russia's full-scale invasion started, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Monday that Berlin wants to continue to support Ukraine with further aid
"Ukraine must win this war. That's why it's also part of our responsibility that Ukraine's staying power is always greater than the viciousness emanating from Putin's war," he said. And he expressed sympathy for the transfer of Taurus cruise missiles to the country, a move that is currently under debate in Germany. 
Russian missile attacks hit several Ukrainian cities
Russian missile attacks hit several Ukrainian cities early Tuesday morning, including two in the west, far from the front line.
Blasts were heard in the western Ukrainian region of Lviv that borders with Poland, local officials said. 
"Explosions again in Lviv," the city's mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on the Telegram messaging app. Later he added that many missiles were shot down by air defenses, but some residential buildings were also hit. 
At least three people were killed in Volyn because of the air strikes. "As of now, three people have died. Several more wounded are in the hospital," said Yuriy Poguliaiko, governor of Volyn.
The regional governor, Maxim Kozitsky, wrote on Telegram that Russia-launched missiles struck some ground targets. Ukraine's air force posted that defense forces destroyed 16 out of at least 28 Russia-launched missiles overnight. 
The neighboring Lutsk region was also targeted. Lutsk Mayor Ihor Polishchuk reported that an industrial plant was hit and some people were injured.
An industrial facility was also hit in the east-central Ukrainian city of Dnipro. Local governor Serhiy Lysak said on Telegram that according to preliminary information, one person was injured.

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