Russian missile barrage on Ukraine city kills 18

Three Russian missiles crashed into Ukraine's historic city of Chernigiv on Wednesday, killing 18 people as officials pleaded for more air defence systems from allies.

Pools of blood gathered on the street at the scene of one strike, where rescuers searched for survivors in the rubble and carried away the wounded on stretchers, official images showed.

As President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed for more help from Western allies, the U.S. House of Representatives finally announced a vote on a massive new military aid package that includes some $61 billion in long-delayed support for Kiev, a move welcomed by President Joe Biden.

In Chernigiv, resident Olga Samoilenko told AFP how she ducked with her children into the corridor of their apartment building for protection when the first missile exploded.

"Our neighbours were already there. We started shouting for everyone to fall to the floor. They did. There were two more explosions. Then we ran to the parking lot," the 33-year-old said.

The official death toll grew to 18 during the day, while emergency services said 59 people — including three children — had been wounded.

 Zelensky questions West's resolve  

Mayor Oleksandr Lomako said more than a dozen buildings had been damaged in the attack while other officials said dozens of vehicles and medical and educational facilities were also damaged.

A 25-year-old policewoman on sick leave was among those killed after suffering a severe shrapnel injury, the interior minister announced.

AFP journalists at the scene saw a body being pulled from the rubble and an eight-storey hotel building gutted by the strike where municipal workers were using a crane to clear debris.

Nearby apartments, a...

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