Russian missile barrage slams into cities across Ukraine
According to Russia’s President, “a massive rocket attack” was launched by Russia that struck critical infrastructure and residential buildings in 10 areas of Ukraine. Officials reported at least six deaths during the nighttime attack.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of the Russian Federation, said that the Moscow-directed barrage came at night and knocked out power across the country. This was to “intimidate Ukrainians again.”
“The occupiers cannot terrorize civilians. In an online statement Zelenskyy stated that this is all they can do.
Over the winter, the war has largely dissolved into a battlefield deadlock. In an apparent attempt demoralize civilian populations and force Kyiv into a peace agreement, the Kremlin launched attacks on Ukraine’s power supply in October last year. Analysts speculate that Russia might have been running low in ammunition, and the attacks became less frequent. February 16 was the last major bombardment.
According to Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s chief commander for the armed forces (CCO), Russia launched 81 missiles and eight exploding Shahed bombers Thursday. He said that 34 cruise missiles and four drones were intercepted.
According to the Russian defense ministry, the attack was in retaliation against an alleged incursion by Ukrainian saboteurs into Bryansk, western Russia, a week prior. The claim was denied by Ukraine, who warned that Moscow could use these allegations to justify its own aggressions.
According to the Russian defense ministry, Thursday’s “massive reprisal” struck military and industrial targets in Ukraine as well as energy facilities.
DTEK, a private electricity operator, reported that three of its power plants had been damaged, resulting in severe damage and emergency power cuts in the Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk regions.
Nearly half of Kyiv’s residents were left without heat due to the strikes, which saw temperatures hovering around 9 C (48 F) during the strike. According to the mayor of Kharkiv in Ukraine, 15 missiles struck the region. Kharkiv was the second-largest Ukrainian city.
In Ukraine’s northern Zhytomyr province, around 150,000 homes were without power. Emergency blackouts were caused by damaged power lines in the southern port city of Odesa.
According to Energoatom, the missile attacks caused the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine to lose power. It is currently occupied by Russian forces.
This is the sixth time Europe’s biggest nuclear plant has been in blackout since Russia took control of it months ago. It was forced to rely on diesel generators for power for the station for a period of 10 days. To run cooling systems and prevent a meltdown, nuclear plants require constant power. There are still fears about a disaster at Zaporizhzhia.
The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog head expressed concern at the latest blackout and said he was “astonished” by the complacency of members of his organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“What are you doing to stop this from happening?” According to an IAEA statement, Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, stated that they are meant to take care of nuclear safety.
He said, “Each time that we are rolling a die,” “And if this continues time after time, then eventually our luck will run dry.”
To reduce the chance of serious accidents, the agency has sent teams of experts to all four Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
Leonid Olinyk, Energoatom’s press secretary, said that power supply can be restored to the plant “within a few days or two”. He stated that emergency repairs had already started.
Through the night, sirens from the air raid force rang across Ukraine, including Kyiv, the capital. There were explosions in two western parts of the city. All over the country, defense systems were activated.
Viktor Bukhta (57 years old) is a resident of Kyiv’s Sviatoshynski District. Officials said that three people were injured and several apartment windows were broken. A missile was reported to have landed near the area at 6:45 AM (0445 GMT).
“We went into that yard. He told The Associated Press that people were hurt and they helped. First-aid kits were also handed out from the cars. The cars caught on fire. We tried to extinguish the fire with car fire extinguishers. And I got a little burned.”
Yurii Ihnat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force, said that he doesn’t remember such an attack. Moscow launched a wide range of missiles including six hypersonic Kinzhal cruise-missiles.
Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister, was critical of the attack and tweeted: “No military objectives, only Russian barbarism.”
According to Kyiv’s municipal administration, the capital was attacked by both missiles as well as exploding drones. Many were intercepted but the energy infrastructure was damaged.
A facility in Kyiv’s Holosiivskyi was seen emitting smoke and all roads leading there were blocked off by police.
The alarm was raised in Kyiv just before 8 AM (0600 GMT), and the sirens went off after seven hours.
After a missile hit a residential area in Lviv, three men and two women were killed. Maksym Kozytskyi said. He said that three buildings were set on fire and rescue workers were searching for additional victims in the rubble.
Multiple strikes in Dnipropetrovsk, which targeted the region’s energy infrastructure and industrial facilities, resulted in six deaths and two more injuries. Serhii Lysak stated.
Officials in Ukraine said that six civilians were killed by Russian shelling from Wednesday to Thursday. This included three people who were waiting at a bus stop near Kherson.
Odesa Gov. is located in the south. Maksym Marchenko claimed that missiles hit residential buildings and damaged several power lines in the region. He claimed six missiles and one drone had been shot down.
Herman Halushchenko, Ukrainian Energy Minister, condemned the missile strikes as “another barbaric mass attack on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure.” He posted in a Facebook post, saying that facilities in Kyiv and Mykolaiv, Kharkivs, Zaporizhzhias, Odesas, Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr were targeted.
Ukrainian Railways reported that power was out in some areas and 15 trains were delayed.