Last Updated: March 09, 2023, 11:14 IST
Air raid sirens wailed for hours across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, where residents were jolted out of bed by explosions. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Air raid sirens wailed for hours across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, where residents were jolted out of bed by explosions. Russia unleashed a massive missile barrage on cities across Ukraine early Thursday, targeting energy infrastructure facilities in the first attack on such a scale in three weeks. Ukrainian officials said residential buildings were hit but didn’t immediately say if there were casualties.
Air raid sirens wailed for hours across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, where residents were jolted out of bed by explosions. It was not immediately clear how many missiles had struck targets in Kyiv, or whether the sounds were missiles being intercepted by defense systems, which were activated in multiple regions of the country.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said explosions were reported in the city’s Holosiivskyi district and emergency services were heading there.
In eastern Ukraine, 15 missiles struck Kharkiv and the outlying northeastern region, hitting residential buildings, according to Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Syniehubov. He promised to reveal more details about the scale of the damage or any casualties in Ukraine’s second-largest city.
“Objects of critical infrastructure is again in the crosshairs of the occupants,” he said in a Telegram post.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported on Telegram that there were “problems with electricity” in some parts of the city.
The governor of the southern Odesa region, Maksym Marchenko, also reported strikes on Odesa, saying that energy facilities and residential buildings were hit.
“The second wave is expected right now, so I ask the residents of the region to stay in shelters!” Marchenko wrote on Telegram a little over two hours ago.
Ukrainian Railways reported power outages in certain areas. Five trains were delayed by more than one hour, and 10 trains were delayed by more than 30 minutes.
Preventive emergency power cuts were applied in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Odesa regions, supplier DTEK said. Klitschko says 15% of the capital’s energy consumers were without power due to the emergency power cuts.
More explosions were reported in the northern city of Chernihiv and the western Lviv region, as well as in the cities of Dnipro, Lutsk and Rivne. Ukrainian media also report explosions in the western regions of Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil.
Russia has been hitting Ukraine with these massive missile attacks since last October. Initially, the barrages targeting the country’s energy infrastructure took place weekly, plunging the entire cities into darkness, but became more spread out in time, with commentators speculating that Moscow may be saving up ammunition.
The last massive barrage took place on Feb. 16.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
Russian forces have launched multiple missile attacks across several Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructures on the country’s eastern side. These acts of aggression have been confirmed by the Ukrainian government and have caused significant damage to critical energy facilities in Kramatorsk and Donetsk.
The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine stems from the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russian forces, which has since then been subject to various military attacks despite international condemnation. Unfortunately, the recent missile strikes, which occurred on Thursday, July 23rd, demonstrate that the threat of further escalations remain.
The attacks occurred in both urban and rural locations close to the Ukrainian military’s positions. As a result, the destruction of several energy supply centres, including substations and powerlines, were observed by locals and international observers. These damages will have a major impact on the people of those regions, as power outages are expected in the coming days and weeks.
The Ukrainian government has declared this as a “direct violation of international law”, calling for an immediate investigation by the UN and other international organizations. Statements from world leaders who have condemned this act of aggression have also been released, with many demanding an end to Russian involvement in Ukraine.
These missile strikes represent the latest in a series of escalating conflicts between Russian and Ukraine forces. This will continue to not only threaten the safety and security of Ukrainian citizens, but also the long-term stability of the region. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to remain vigilant and pressurize Russia to halt their military operations in Ukraine as soon as possible.