Russia has bombed a large area of Ukraine today, following a bilateral meeting between President Zelensky and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. This is in response to Ukraine's incursions into southern Russia with drones and helicopters. The Ukrainian military has destroyed several logistical targets. This marks the first time an external power has attacked Russia since the end of the Second World War.
This month, Kyiv has returned to a sense of normalcy following the Russian withdrawal. After touring the devastation around Kyiv, the UN Secretary-General labeled the Russian occupation as "evil," the Associated Press reports. Ukrainian officials are quoted in the AP report as saying that at least one person has died so far in this latest attack on the capital. The blasts gravely injured a different number of people. Many remain buried under the rubble. These recent explosions are an unsettling reminder of the reality that residents of the capital face on a near-daily basis.
The UN and Ukrainian government meeting was prerecorded and played with a slight delay. It isn't easy to establish precisely when the UN Secretary-General left Kyiv. However, it is likely that Russia struck targets in Kyiv while the Secretary-General was still in the city. The Prime Minister of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov was likewise in Kyiv today, discussing the transfer of military supplies and diplomatic support for the besieged country. Russia recently cut off Bulgaria's access to gas supplies, potentially creating a domestic situation that could damage Bulgaria's fragile coalition government. Bulgaria plays host to several far rights pro-Russian political parties yet is an isolated voice refusing to pay Moscow for its gas in rubles.
The AP reports that explosions have ripped through the rest of the country today and that Moscow has stepped up its offensive in the Donbas, with reports of large-scale engagements along the front line. The attacks on Kyiv have taken center stage so far, as many world leaders have visited the city in recent weeks. While the rest of the country continues to suffer under Russian military occupation or attack, Kyiv has largely revived its civic life since the Russian retreat from the city's outskirts. People have started to return to their homes. Russia may be signaling to the rest of the world that Kyiv is still a war zone irrespective of bilateral meetings. In any event, Russia is making the prospect of a new normal increasingly complex and violent.
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