Ukrainian authorities said Wednesday an overnight Russian drone attack killed at least three people in the Kyiv region.
The state emergency service said the strike hit a school facility in Rzhyshchiv, about 60 kilometers south of the capital, damaging two student residences and an educational building.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted Wednesday that Russia’s overnight attacks included “20 Iranian murderous drones, plus missiles, numerous shelling occasions.”
“Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes,” Zelenskyy said.
The Ukrainian leader said the success of his forces “brings peace closer” as he called for global unity and compliance with sanctions targeting Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday praised a Chinese-drafted peace plan as he hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping, while reiterating his stance that Ukraine and its Western partners are unwilling to engage in peace talks.
Zelenskyy has said peace talks can only occur once Russia has withdrawn all its troops from Ukrainian territory.
Zelenskyy hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for talks Tuesday in Kyiv in the latest show of support from a world leader making a wartime stop in Ukraine.
“Paid a visit to Ukraine to show firm resolution of G-7 as Chair and saw the situation with my own eyes,” Kishida tweeted Wednesday. “Having in-depth discussions with President Zelenskyy, I renewed commitment to take the lead in the efforts to uphold the international order based on the rule of law.”
Japan is due to host a G-7 summit of the leaders of some of the world’s largest economies in Kishida’s hometown of Hiroshima in May. Tokyo has continually voiced support for Ukraine and joined rounds of sanctions against Russia. Kishida has said that the summit should demonstrate a strong will against Russia’s invasion and to uphold international order and rule of law.
Kishida’s trip was kept secret until the last minute for security reasons. It is rare for a Japanese leader to make an unannounced visit to another country.
Zelenskyy posted footage of him greeting Kishida, whom Zelenskyy called “a truly powerful defender of the international order and a longtime friend of Ukraine.”
Kishida also toured the town of Bucha, where Ukraine says more than 400 civilians were killed last year by Russian forces, and which has since become synonymous with the brutality of Moscow’s troops.
He laid a wreath outside a church before observing a moment of silence and bowing.
The world was astonished to see innocent civilians in Bucha killed one year ago. I really feel great anger at the atrocity upon visiting that very place here,” Kishida said.
“I would like to give condolences to all the victims and the wounded on behalf of the Japanese nationals,” he added. “Japan will keep aiding Ukraine with the greatest effort to regain peace.”
In an apparent response to Kishida’s trip, Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday that two of its strategic bomber planes flew over the Sea of Japan for more than seven hours.
Some material in this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.