Russian missiles pounded more than 40 Ukrainian cities and towns, officials said today, after a United Nations General Assembly resolution called Moscow's annexation of Ukrainian territory "illegal" and Ukraine's allies committed more military aid.
Russia repeated its position that the West, by helping Ukraine, indicated that "they are a direct party to the conflict" and warned the admission of Ukraine to NATO could trigger World War Three.
"Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War Three," deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Alexander Venediktov, told the state TASS news agency on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance at the end of September, after Russian President Vladimir Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to proclaim four partially occupied regions as annexed Russian land.
In the past 24 hours Russian missiles hit more than 40 settlements, while Ukraine's air force carried out 32 strikes on 25 Russian targets, Ukraine's Armed Forces General Staff said.
Mayor of the port city of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Senkevich, said in a social media post that the southern city was "massively shelled".
"A five-storey residential building was hit, the two upper floors were completely destroyed, the rest - under rubble. Rescuers are working on the site," he said.
A shipbuilding centre and a port on the Southern Bug river off the Black Sea, Mykolaiv has suffered heavy Russian bombardments throughout the war.
Russia also targeted a settlement in the region of Ukraine's capital Kyiv using explosive drones early today, the region's administration said on the Telegram messaging app.
Governor of the Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, said based on preliminary information the strikes were caused by Iranian-made loitering munitions. These are often known as "kamikaze drones".