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Kyiv says Russia has fired over 24 North Korean missiles at Ukraine since Dec. 30

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Russia has fired at least 24 North Korean ballistic missiles at Ukraine since Dec. 30, in strikes that have largely missed relevant military targets and killed at least 14 civilians, Ukrainian authorities said on Friday.

Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, said a preliminary assessment enabled Kyiv to ascertain the ballistic missiles were from North Korea, and of the KN-23/24 series, the latest in an array of missiles used by Russia for air strikes.

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The Kremlin has neither denied nor confirmed its use of North Korean-made missiles and ammunition.

A North Korean representative at the United Nations could not be reached for comment.

Speaking to reporters in Kyiv, Kostin said that of the 24 missiles fired, only two of them had been “relatively” accurate, including strikes on an oil refinery and an airfield.

“The accuracy of the missiles is questionable,” he said.

According to the United States, Russia began receiving ballistic missiles and artillery rounds from North Korea after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for a rare summit in September.

“In total, between December 30, 2023 and February 7, 2024, the enemy launched at least 12 attacks on seven regions of Ukraine with this type of (North Korean) missile,” the prosecutor said.

The targeted areas included three strikes on the capital Kyiv, two on the northeastern city of Kharkiv and others on Zaporizhzhia region, towns and villages in Kirovohrad region, and the regions of Poltava, Donetsk, and Dnipro, he said.

The most lethal use of the ballistic missile was on the center of Kharkiv on Jan. 2 when three people were killed and 64 others were injured, he said.

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Kostin confirmed that Ukraine was investigating whether a huge crater blasted in the ground near the town of Bucha near Kyiv during an air strike on Thursday morning had been caused by the North Korean missile.

An analysis of the attacks determined the maximum range of the missiles to be up to 650 km, he said, adding that the preliminary assessment was that Russia was launching them from the region of Voronezh.

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