US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned Russia’s latest deadly attacks on Ukraine as he met mayors from the war-torn country.
Mr Blinken held a meeting with a number of mayors from Ukraine in Denver, hours after Russia launched its heaviest attacks in several weeks, killing at least 25 civilians.
The mayors included Vitaly Klitschko, of Kyiv, and Ivan Fedorov, of Melitopol, which has been under Russian occupation since March 2022.
Mr Blinken wrote on Twitter: “Met with Ukrainian mayors, including @Vitaliy_Klychko and @IvanFedorovUA, who are leading their cities with courage and resolve in the face of Russia’s aggression.
“We strongly condemn Russia’s overnight attacks on Ukraine and reconfirm our support for the Ukrainian people.”
READ MORE: Putin is ‘absolutely desperate’ as Russians revolt over massive losses
In Uman in central Ukraine, firefighters tackled a blaze at a residential apartment block hit by a Russian missile and rescue workers searched the smouldering rubble for survivors and bodies.
Officials said at least 23 civilians were killed there, including four children.
The building was demolished by one of 23 cruise missiles and kamikaze drones that Russia fired in the early hours of Friday. It was the first such onslaught since early March.
“This Russian terror must face a fair response from Ukraine and the world,” President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a Telegram post alongside images of the wreckage.
Moscow said it had successfully targeted locations of Ukrainian reserve troops, stopping them from reaching the front, but offered no evidence to support the claim.
Kyiv was also rocked by explosions in the early hours, as were the central cities of Kremenchuk and Poltava, and Mykolaiv in the south. Two people were wounded in Ukrayinka just south of Kyiv, officials said.
Ukraine is preparing for a counter-offensive aimed at driving the Russians out of the nearly one-fifth of the country it occupies.