Russia launched a massive missile strike against Ukraine, striking targets in Kyiv, Ukraine’s second largest city and Black Sea port of Odesa. At least five people were killed.
The attack on the northern city of Chernihiv, the western Lviv region and cities of Dnipro and Lutsk, as well the cities of Dnipro and Rivne and Lutsk, was also reported by Ukrainian media. There were also reports of explosions in the western regions Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, and Ternopil.
The Russian attack, which targeted the country’s energy infrastructure and also hit residential areas, was the first such attack for three weeks.
Ukraine war: Russia launches massive missile strike
Airstrikes caused extensive power outages and set off sirens for air raid alerts. Many areas also lost water.
According to the Ukrainian military, Russia fired eight drones and 81 missiles during the early morning offensive.
Defense systems were activated, and 34 cruise missiles were destroyed and four drones were destroyed.
Herman Halushchenko, Ukraine’s energy minister, condemned the missile strikes as “another barbaric massive assault on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine”.
Chief of the Ukrainian presidential staff, Andriy Yeermak, posted on Telegram: “The terrorists do everything they can leave us without power… They continue their terror against peaceful citizens.”
According to Maksym Kozytskyi, the governor of Lviv, four people were killed when a missile hit a residential area. He said that three buildings were set on fire by the strike, and that rescue workers were looking for additional victims in the rubble.
Governor Serhii Lysak stated that five people were killed in airstrikes in Dnipropetrovsk, which targeted the region’s energy infrastructure and industrial facilities.
Officials claimed that the capital was attacked by both missiles as well as exploding drones. Many were intercepted, but its energy infrastructure was damaged.
Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv’s Mayor, said that explosions were reported in the city’s Holosiivskyi area and that emergency services were headed there.
Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syiehubov stated that objects of critical infrastructure were again under the control of their occupants after 15 missiles hit the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and its outlying northeastern region. The missiles also struck residential buildings.
Ihor Terekhov was the mayor of the city and reported that there were “problems with electricity in certain parts of the city.”
According to Maksym Marchenko, the governor of southern Odesa, residential buildings and energy facilities were also affected.
“The second wave of refugees is imminent, so I request that the residents of the area stay in shelters!” He wrote the following message via Telegram.
According to supplier DTEK, emergency power cuts were used in the Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk regions to prevent any further disruptions.
Ukrainian Railways also reported power cuts in certain areas.
During the offensive, the power supply to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant, which is Russian-controlled, was also cut off.
Energoatom, the state company, stated in a statement that the last link between Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear power plant and Ukraine’s power system had been cut.
It stated that the sixth and fifth reactors had been shut down, and that electric power was being supplied to the plant by 18 diesel generators. These generators had enough fuel for a period of 10 days.
To avoid meltdown, nuclear plants require constant power in order to cool their cooling systems.
The company stated that “the countdown has started.”
Russian forces captured the nuclear power station during their invasion of Ukraine early on and it remains under their control.
Strategically, it is crucial for both sides to the Ukraine-Russia conflict. However, its continued stalemate has raised concerns about nuclear safety.
As Ukrainian forces faced fierce Russian assaults on the eastern mining community of Bakhmut, the missile offensive was launched.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stated on Facebook that “the enemy continued its attacks, and has shown no sign a let-up when storming the city in Bakhmut,”.
“Our defenders repelled attacks on Bakhmut, and other surrounding communities.”
In a video address on Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the fight for Bakhmut is “our first priority”.
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Russia’s Wagner mercenary team claimed control over the eastern portion of Bakhmut.
Telegram: Yevgeny Prizhin, founder of the group, wrote that Wagner has complete control over everything east of the Bakhmutka River.
Russia would have Bakhmut as a springboard to two larger cities in the Donetsk area that it long desired: Kramatorsk or Sloviansk.
Russian officials claim that Russia has annexed almost 20% of Ukrainian territory.