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A RUSSIAN rocket strike on a cafe and store in the village of Hroza killed at least 50 people today, Ukrainian officials say.
The attack took place as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attended a summit of European leaders in Granada, Spain, to shore up support against the ongoing Russian invasion.
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said the cafe was packed because villagers were attending a wake.
Hroza is in the north-east Kharkiv region, where Russia has made minor territorial gains in recent weeks.
It was occupied by Russia for seven months in 2022 before being retaken by Ukrainian forces in that year’s September counter-attack.
Mr Zelensky said he was talking to leaders of the European Political Community, a group formed following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, “about strengthening our air defence, strengthening our soldiers, giving our country protection from terror.”
Ukraine fears cracks in the Nato alliance following a number of setbacks. A row over the US budget saw aid for Ukraine dropped from a compromise deal to avert a federal shutdown last month, while Poland has recently declared it will stop arming Ukraine both to focus on building up its own military and because of a dispute over Ukrainian grain exports undercutting its farmers.
Today, Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputova blocked an arms shipment proposal by the caretaker government, saying it did not have the authority to proceed when Smer party leader Robert Fico, who is in the process of building a coalition after coming first in elections, says he will halt arms to Ukraine if he becomes prime minister.
Most Nato countries are running short on ammunition to supply Ukraine in what has become a grinding war of attrition on a front hundreds of miles long.
On Wednesday Nato military committee chair Admiral Rob Bauer said “the bottom of the barrel is now visible” on ammo supplies.
US President Joe Biden admitted in July that the US was running out of munitions to send Ukraine, explaining this was part of the logic for sending it cluster bombs instead.
The US this week said it would send over a million rounds of Iranian munitions seized en route to Yemen to Ukraine.
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