News from Ukraine: Russia launches massive barrage

Kyiv, Ukraine –

Several regions of Ukraine, including its capital, faced a massive Russian missile attack on Thursday, the biggest wave of strikes in weeks targeting power plants and other critical infrastructure in freezing weather.

Air raid sirens sounded across the country. Ukraine’s military chief, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said preliminary data showed Russia fired 69 missiles at energy facilities and Ukrainian forces shot down 54. No immediate fatalities were reported.

Russia sent explosive drones to some areas overnight before expanding the barrage with « air and sea cruise missiles launched from strategic aircraft and ships » in the morning, the army reported. air Ukrainian.

The widespread attack was the latest in a series of Russian strikes on electricity and water supplies that have increased the suffering of the Ukrainian population. Moscow has launched such attacks on a weekly basis since October as its ground forces struggle to advance.

On Thursday, air defense systems were activated in the capital, Kyiv, to repel strikes, according to the regional administration. Sounds of explosions were heard in the city.

At least three people were injured and hospitalized, including a 14-year-old girl, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. He warned of power cuts in the capital, asking people to stock up on water and charge their electronic devices.

After more than 10 months of fighting, Russia and Ukraine are locked in a bitter battle of attrition. The Ukrainian military has reclaimed large swathes of Russian-occupied territory in the northeast and south of the country and continues to resist persistent Russian attempts to seize the entire industrial region of Donbass.

At the same time, Moscow has methodically targeted Ukrainian power installations and other key infrastructure in an effort to weaken the country’s resolve and force it to negotiate on Russian terms.

While the Ukrainian military reported successful downing of incoming Russian missiles and explosive drones after previous attacks, some still hit their targets. Most cities went without heat, Internet service and electricity for hours or days at a time.

Anastasia, a nurse who took refuge in a central Kyiv metro station on Thursday and gave only her first name, said she was tired of the war. « We don’t know how long the war will last. It’s hard to be afraid every day and put your life on hold, » she said.

Numerous explosions also took place in Kharkiv, which is located in eastern Ukraine and the country’s second largest city, and in the city of Lviv near the border with Poland, according to their mayors.

About 90% of Lviv was without electricity, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi wrote on Telegram. Trams and trolleybuses were not running and residents could experience water cuts, he said.

Ukrainian authorities in several regions said some incoming Russian missiles had been intercepted.

Governor of Mykolaiv province in southern Ukraine Vitaliy Kim said five missiles were shot down over the Black Sea. Ukraine’s Northern Military Command said two of them were shot dead in the Sumy region, which borders Russia in the northeast of the country.

Fragments of downed Russian missiles damaged two private buildings in the Darnytskyi district of Kyiv, the city administration said. An industrial facility and a playground in neighborhoods across the Dnieper were also damaged, city officials said. No casualties were reported immediately.

As the latest wave of Russian strikes began on Thursday, authorities in Dnipro, Odessa and Kryvyi Rih regions said they cut power to minimize damage to critical infrastructure if hit.

Earlier this month, the United States agreed to donate a battery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine to bolster the country’s defense. The United States and other allies have also pledged to provide energy-related equipment to help Ukraine resist attacks on its infrastructure.

Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said Russia aimed to « destroy critical infrastructure and kill civilians en masse. »

« We await further proposals from ‘peacekeepers’ on ‘peaceful settlement’, ‘RF security guarantees’ and inappropriateness of provocations, » Podolyak wrote on Twitter, a sarcastic reference. statements by some Westerners who have urged Ukraine to seek a political settlement of the conflict.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Monday that his country wanted a « peace » summit within two months at the United Nations with Secretary General Antonio Guterres as mediator. Kuleba said Russia must face a war crimes tribunal before his country speaks directly with Moscow. He said, however, that other nations should feel free to engage with the Russians.

Commenting on the summit proposal on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it « delusional » and « hollow », describing the proposal as a « publicity stunt from Washington that tries to present the Kyiv regime as a peacemaker ».

“It is an attempt to give a semblance of legitimacy to a meaningless discussion that will not be followed by any concrete steps,” Zakharova said during a briefing.

Russian officials have said any peace plan can only come from Kyiv’s recognition of Russia’s sovereignty over areas it illegally annexed from Ukraine in September.


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