Residents of Kyiv take shelter in a metro station during an air strike alarm Residents of Kyiv take shelter in a metro station during an air strike alarm  (AFP or licensors)

Ukraine facing more darkness and destruction as peace talks are rejected

Moscow says it is ready for peace negotiations with Kyiv, but without preconditions, despite reportedly using more than 100 missiles and killer drones since Friday to attack critical infrastructure inside Ukraine. Though the fighting caused many casualties, Ukraine made clear it isn’t ready for negotiations with invading Russia under the current circumstances.

By Stefan J. Bos  

Even animals seemed shocked by the explosions as people investigated the damage of yet another day of the war. Since Friday, Russia unleashed massive attacks on several parts of Ukraine involving missiles and killer drones.

Now residents and rescue workers survey the damage even in Kyiv after Ukraine’s army said it shot down at least 10 Russian missiles over Ukraine's capital.

Yet fragments of the missiles still damaged two cars, a house, and electric wires here. "I heard an explosion," said Kyiv resident Oleksander.

“I heard how the anti-aircraft defense system worked. Then, around 10 am, I heard a missile flying, and then there was an explosion. After just 30 seconds, all the windows were broken. We ran to the bathroom and were hiding,” Oleksander recalled. “After one minute, I came out to see how things were. I saw broken windows. Torn cables, damaged cars. I saw small pieces from rockets, something like this.”

It’s a small example of what happened in the wartorn nation, where strikes caused causalities and emergency power outages for millions of people.

Ukrainian energy minister, German Galushchenko, said Moscow hit power facilities in six regions with missiles and drones, causing blackouts across most of Ukraine.

All-out assault

Western military observers say it is an attempt by Russia to prepare for an all-out assault ahead of the first anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Yet Russian state media have reported that Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Vershinin said that Moscow is ready to negotiate with Ukraine without preconditions.

However, the offer was quickly rejected by the Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, who earlier said, “talks are out of the question.”

He suggested on social media that overpassed Russia had fired 106 missiles and 30 drones and destroyed dozens of buildings.

The adviser also claimed more than 1,000 Russian soldiers, who he referred to as occupiers, were killed over the past day, though that figure could not be verified independently.

And with so much suffering, he wondered whether anyone would enter into any agreement with such an aggressor.

However, Pope Francis has made clear he still hopes and prays that peace will return to this troubled land. With more Western weapons arriving in Ukraine and Russia preparing for a new assault, there are concerns that the war could further escalate into a broader armed conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos

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11 February 2023, 17:15