Air raid sirens blare in Ukraine as NATO meets to promise aid
Air raid sirens wailed across Ukraine on Tuesday for the first time this week, as the United States and NATO allies unveiled new pledges of money and equipment to help restore power and heat knocked out by Moscow's missile and drone strikes, News.az reports citing UNIAN.
Ukrainians fled the streets for bomb shelters, although there were no immediate reports of major attacks away from the front. The all-clear was later sounded in the capital Kyiv, but officials said the threat had not necessarily lifted.
"Last time, the Russians also disguised the strike as a training flight... Let's see," said Vitaliy Kim, governor of southern Ukraine's Mykolaiv region.
Foreign ministers from the NATO alliance were starting a two-day meeting in Bucharest, looking for ways both to keep millions of Ukrainian civilians safe and warm, and to sustain Kyiv's military through the coming winter campaign.
"NATO will continue to stand for Ukraine as long as it takes. We will not back down," alliance General-Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said in a speech in Bucharest.
He told reporters Russian President Vladimir Putin was "trying to use winter as a weapon of war" as Moscow's forces lose on the battlefield, and that Western allies would step in to help.
U.S. and European officials, briefing ahead of the meeting on condition of anonymity, described packages of aid including cash, electricity transmission equipment and more weapons to fight off drones and replenish diminished ammunition stores.