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Ukraine reports nearly 100 air attacks in a day as first lady warns country faces ‘mortal danger’

By Maria Kostenko, Amarachi Orie and Radina Gigova, CNN

Kyiv (CNN) — Ukraine said Saturday that Russia launched nearly 100 air attacks across the country in the space of 24 hours, as its first lady warned Ukraine was in “mortal danger” without Western military aid.

“The enemy launched a total of 28 missiles and 27 airstrikes, firing 59 times from multiple launch rocket systems at Ukrainian military positions and populated areas,” according to a social media post from the Ukrainian General Staff Saturday.

Multiple regions in the east were targeted, including Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk, which have seen some of the most intense fighting.

The strikes come a day after Ukrainian authorities said they intercepted cruise missiles for the first time in nearly 80 days, as Western intelligence assessments warned Russia is likely to expand its bombardment of civilian infrastructure during the winter.

Russian forces shelled Ukraine’s Kherson region alone 62 times, firing more than 300 shells from mortars, artillery, Grad, tanks, UAVs and aircraft, according to Oleksandr Prokudin, the head of the region’s military administration.

At least one civilian was killed and another sustained shrapnel wounds after Russian forces dropped an explosive from a drone in the region’s city of Beryslav on Saturday morning, local authorities said Saturday.

A 47-year-old woman in the city of Kherson is in a medical facility after being injured during an attack on Friday night in which critical infrastructure was damaged and residential buildings shelled, Prokudin said.

The Prosecutor’s Office in the Kherson region said a pre-trial investigation has been launched “over violations of the laws and customs of war.”

‘We really need the help’

The latest Russian attacks came as Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska spoke to the BBC after Republicans in the US Senate blocked foreign aid from advancing.

“We really need the help,” said Zelenska. “In simple words, we cannot get tired of this situation, because if we do, we die.”

“And if the world gets tired, they will simply let us die,” Zelenska added.

Fighting in Ukraine remains intense despite little movement along the frontlines.

Russia has been pressing hard to capture the eastern city of Avdiivka, where soldiers have described grinding trench warfare.

During a trip to Washington, DC, on Thursday Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron called the United States “the lynchpin” of the Western coalition backing Ukraine’s fight against Russia and urged US lawmakers to “lift the morale” of Ukraine by passing an aid package for Kyiv.

He added that “the worst thing in the world would be to allow Putin a win in Ukraine.”

“It hurts us greatly to see the signs that the passionate willingness to help may fade,” Zelenska told the BBC, adding: “It is a matter of life for us. Therefore, it hurts to see that.”

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