‘Massive’ missile attack hits targets across Ukraine, with civilians feared buried alive beneath rubble and power cut off in multiple cities
Russia has today unleashed the latest in a series of devastating missile salvoes against Ukraine, knocking out key infrastructure and burying civilians under rubble.
Virtually every major city was targeted in Friday’s strike with explosions reported in the capital Kyiv, second city Kharkiv, and Kryvyi Rih – in the centre of the country – where an apartment building was hit with people feared buried in rubble.
Vinnytsia, in west-central Ukraine, the central city of Poltava, the southern port hub of Odesa, and the northern Sumy region were also targeted – with blackouts of both energy and internet reported.
Russia has for weeks been targeting Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure after failing to win victory on the battlefield, which amounts to war crimes. The aim is to break the will of Ukrainians to continue the war, and spark a fresh refugee crisis.
‘They want to destroy us, and make us slaves. But we will not surrender. We will endure,’ said Lidiya Vasilieva, 53, as she headed for shelter at a Kyiv railway station.
‘I want the war over and soon. But I am ready to wait as long as needed,’ she said.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said a residential building had been hit in the central city of Kryvyi Rih, and that there could be people trapped under the rubble.
There was no immediate word of casualties and it was not clear exactly what critical infrastructure had been hit.
‘Do not ignore air raid alerts, remain in shelters,’ Tymoshenko wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Officials in the Zaporizhzhia region in southeastern Ukraine warned residents to expect more power cuts as engineers try to repair damage caused by the Russian attacks.
‘We know of 15 impacts by Russian missiles (in the region),’ Oleksandr Starukh, Zaporizhzhia’s regional governor, wrote on Telegram. ‘We ask citizens to prepare for possible temporary restrictions during restoration of damaged infrastructure.’
Energy company DTEK said it was already enforcing electricity shutdowns in Kyiv to enable repairs.
Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, has been attacking Ukrainian energy infrastructure since October, causing repeated power outages across the country at the start of winter.
Moscow says the attacks on basic infrastructure are militarily legitimate. Ukraine says attacks intended to cause civilian misery are a war crime.