Russian forces launched another major attack with 60 missile strikes in Ukraine on Friday, Ukrainian authorities said, also reporting explosions in at least four cities in the country. At least two people were killed in the shelling of a residential building in Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of President Volodimir Zelensky, while electricity and water services were disrupted in the two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Explosions and gunfire from air defense systems resounded across the country as authorities posted on social media of blasts and missile strikes in the capital Kyiv; Kryvyi Rih, further south; and Zaporizhia, in the southeast; and Kharkiv, in the northeast. Air-raid alarms sounded across the country, warning of a new barrage of Russian strikes that have come on and off since mid-October aimed at knocking out Ukraine’s power supply and plunging the population into the cold, something that has I validate NATO’s claim that Russia uses winter as a weapon of war.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Inhat told Ukrainian television that more than 60 missiles had been fired, but did not specify how many of them were intercepted by the Ukrainian military, although some Ukrainian officials reported some successful interceptions. . Ihnat claimed that Russian forces had fired cruise missiles from positions in the Black Sea and used bomber planes as part of an effort to “massively divert attention from air defense, keeping it in tension.”
Moscow tries to buy time for a possible offensive in the coming months
A day earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned that if the United States delivers sophisticated Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine as planned, those systems and any accompanying crews would also be a legitimate target for the Russian military. Washington rejected that threat.
The attacks against energy infrastructure have been part of a new strategy by Russia to try to freeze the Ukrainians after recent battlefield losses by Russian forces. Officials and experts say that has only strengthened the Ukrainians’ resolve to face the Russian invasion, as Moscow tries to buy time for a possible offensive in the coming months after the current stalemate on the battlefield.
In Kryvyi Rih a Russian missile hit a residential building, destroying its entrance. Two people were killed and at least five others were injured, including two children, and rushed to hospitals, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said. The city of Zaporizhia was hit by about 15 Russian missiles, said the regional governor Oleksandr Starukh, who did not specify the exact location of the attacks, but said that the infrastructure had been damaged. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the city had lost power, while Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported three attacks on the city’s critical infrastructure.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klichko reported explosions in at least four districts and urged Kiev to take cover because the attacks could continue. Metro services in the capital were suspended as its residents flocked to its tunnels to seek refuge.
Ukrzaliznytsia, the national rail operator, said there was no power at several stations in the east and center of the country — in the Kharkiv, Kropivnitsky, Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk regions — due to damage to power infrastructure. But the trains continued to run by switching from electric power to steam engine power, which had been prepared as emergency support.
In neighboring Moldova, the state-owned power company Moldelectrica reported disruptions to its power grid as a result of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine and warned of a “high risk” of power outages. Moldova, whose Soviet-era systems remain interconnected with Ukraine’s, has already suffered two massive blackouts in recent months when Russia attacked Ukraine’s power grid.