Russia fires massive missiles at Ukraine

Kyiv – Several parts of Ukraine, including its capital, were hit by a massive Russian missile attack on Thursday, the largest attack on power stations and other critical infrastructure in weeks in cold weather.

Air raid sirens blared across the country. Ukraine’s military commander-in-chief, General Valery Zarouzhny, said preliminary reports indicated that Russia had fired 69 missiles at the energy facility, with Ukrainian forces shooting down 54 of them. Several people were injured, but no deaths were immediately reported.

The Ukrainian air force said Russia sent explosive drones to selected areas overnight and then expanded the barrage in the morning with “air and sea cruise missiles launched from strategic aircraft and ships”.

The widespread attack is the latest in a string of Russian attacks on electricity and water systems that have increased The suffering of the Ukrainian peopleMoscow has launched such attacks on an almost weekly basis since last October, while its ground forces struggle to hold their ground and advance.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian capital Kyiv activated its air defenses to fend off the attack, according to the regional government. There was an explosion in the city.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least three people were injured and hospitalized, including a 14-year-old girl. He warned of power outages in the capital and asked people to stockpile water and charge electronic devices.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba condemns Russian missile launch winter vacationcalling it “senseless barbarism.”

“There can be no ‘neutrality’ in the face of war crimes of this magnitude. Pretending to be ‘neutral’ is tantamount to siding with Russia,” Kuleba tweeted.

After more than 10 months of fierce fighting, Russia and Ukraine are locked in a war of attrition. The Ukrainian military has reclaimed large swathes of Russian-occupied territory in the country’s northeast and south, and continues to resist Russia’s stubborn attempts to seize all of the industrial Donbass region in the east.

Meanwhile, Moscow has methodically targeted Ukrainian power plants and other critical infrastructure in hopes of weaken the country’s resolve And force it to negotiate on Russian terms. However, the time between strikes has increased in recent weeks, leading some commentators to suggest that Russia is trying to limit its missile supply.

While the Ukrainian military reported success in shooting down incoming Russian missiles and explosive drones after earlier strikes, some still hit targets. Most cities have been without heat, internet service and electricity for hours or days.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmikhal said many energy facilities had been damaged in what he said was the 10th major attack on Ukraine.

“Russia is trying to deprive Ukrainians of the light ahead of the new year,” Shmyhal wrote in a Telegram post. Emergency power outages may be required in “certain areas,” he said.

Anastasia, a healthcare worker who took refuge in Kyiv’s central metro station on Thursday and gave only her first name, said she was tired of war. “We don’t know how long the war will last. It’s hard to be scared every day and put your life on hold,” she said.

Kharkov, in eastern Ukraine and the country’s second-largest city, and Lviv, near the Polish border, were also hit by explosions, according to local mayors.

About 90 percent of the city of Lviv is without electricity, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi wrote on Telegram. Streetcars and trolleybuses are out of service, and residents may experience disruption to their water supply, he said.

A Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile landed on Belarusian territory early Thursday, a development that could further escalate tensions, the Telegram channel, which is affiliated with the press service of the Belarusian president, said. It said the missile probably veered off course accidentally and there were no casualties.

The Belarusian Ministry of Defense later said the missile was shot down by Belarusian air defenses in the West Brest region and fell into a field, according to a statement carried by the state Berta news agency.

Belarus was the staging ground for Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, and there are fears Moscow’s close ally will try to find an excuse to join the attack on neighboring Ukraine.

Russian air defenses shot down an “unidentified object” near the city of Engels, the governor of Russia’s Saratov region Roman Busarkin said. russian air base Serves as the main hub for nuclear-capable strategic bombers launching missile strikes against Ukraine.

The Russian military said the Engel base was targeted by Ukrainian drones twice this month, most recently on Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry said three servicemen were killed by debris from a downed Ukrainian drone.

Ukrainian authorities have remained ambiguous about the attack on Russian territory and have not claimed responsibility for it.

Earlier this month, the U.S. agreed to grant Patriot Missile Battery Travel to Ukraine to strengthen the country’s defense. The U.S. and other allies have also pledged to provide energy-related equipment to help Ukraine defend against attacks on its infrastructure.

Mikhailo Podolak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Russia was aiming to “destroy critical infrastructure and mass-kill civilians”.

“We are awaiting further proposals from ‘peacekeepers’ on ‘peaceful resolution’, ‘radio frequency security guarantees’ and unacceptable provocations,” Podoliak tweeted, referring to a political settlement of the conflict.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said on Monday his country wanted to hold a “peaceful” summit at the United Nations within two months, with Secretary-General António Guterres as mediator. He said Russia must face a war crimes court before his country talks directly to Moscow, but other countries should be free to engage with Russia.

Commenting on the summit proposal on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it “cranky” and “empty” and described it as “a publicity stunt by Washington trying to portray the Kyiv regime as a peacemaker.”

“This is an attempt to give legitimacy to a meaningless discussion without any concrete steps,” Zakharova told a briefing.

Russian official says any peace plan can only start from Kyiv recognizes Russian sovereignty Region illegally annexed from Ukraine in September.

Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan, first proposed at the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, includes the full restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, the establishment of Courts and Ukraine’s security guarantees.

Commenting on the latest attack, British ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons said on Twitter: “Russia does not want peace with Ukraine. Russia wants to conquer Ukraine.”

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