A day after President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine appeared to warn of more attacks inside Russia, two Russian missiles slammed into a residential building and university complex in his hometown, Kryvyi Rih, on Monday, killing at least six people and injuring dozens of others, Ukrainian officials said.
The unusually pointed warning from Ukraine’s leader followed a series of apparent Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory, suggesting that Kyiv was stepping up its efforts to bring the war home to Russians. But Russia’s weapons have proved far deadlier for civilians, as they were again on Monday in Kryvyi Rih, a steel-producing central Ukrainian city roughly 100 miles from the front line.
Serhii Lysak, the head of the region’s military administration, said six people had been killed and 75 injured. More than 20 of those were hospitalized, he wrote in a message on Telegram.
Shortly after the attack, Mr. Zelensky posted video from the scene that showed smoke pouring from a building that had a gaping hole where several upper floors had been. Hours later, he said that Russia had used Iskander ballistic missiles in the attack, adding that a 10-year-old girl and her mother were among the dead.
“An ordinary family in an ordinary city whose lives were destroyed by Russian murderers,” he said in his nightly address.
Russian forces also shelled 130 towns and villages along the front line on Monday, with some of the most intense fire directed at the southern port city of Kherson on the west bank of the Dnipro River, Ukrainian officials said. Four people were killed and 17 others wounded in the shelling, Andriy Yermak, the head of the presidential office, wrote on Telegram.
The head of the Kherson regional military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin, said that the injured included utility workers and volunteers helping people still recovering from the floods that washed over their homes after Russia blew up a dam upriver in June.
Natalia Humeniuk, the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military’s southern command, said on national television that Russia was trying to escalate its attacks on the western bank of the river despite shortages of munitions.
Ms. Humeniuk said that Ukrainian strikes on key Russian logistical routes — particularly on the bridges and roads linking the occupied Crimean Peninsula to southern Ukraine and to Russia — were making it difficult for Moscow to resupply and redeploy its occupation forces.
Kyiv has increasingly promised to bring the war closer to Russians, largely abandoning a policy of strategic ambiguity regarding attacks inside Russia that it had maintained for much of the war.
In his nightly address on Sunday evening, after two drones hit buildings in the heart of the Russian capital, Mr. Zelensky gave the clearest sign yet that Ukraine sees such strikes as a key tactic in the war.
“Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia — to its symbolic centers and military bases,” he said. “And this is an inevitable, natural, and absolutely fair process.”
Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said on Monday that strikes in Moscow and across Russia are to be expected as long as Russian forces wage an unjust war.
“Until the occupiers leave the Ukrainian territory, until the criminals are punished, there are no safe places in the aggressor state,” said Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence.