Russia has launched another offensive against Ukraine, firing dozens of missiles across many locations in Ukraine, killing at least nine people and knocking out Europe’s largest nuclear reactor.
Cities including Kharkiv, Odesa and Zhytomyr were attacked with blackouts and building damage occurring in Kharkiv and Odesa. .
Ukraine claims Russia launched 81 missiles in the largest strike in weeks. Eight Shahed drones and 34 cruise missiles were shot down by the military.
It was worst day of Russian missile attacks on Ukraine since late January, when dozens of structures were hit across multiple places, killing 11 people.
In Thursday’s attacks, at least five people were killed in Lviv in western Ukraine, after a rocket hit their home, the region’s governor Maksym Kozytskyi said on Telegram.
Andriy Yermak, Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, reported Russian shelling killed three persons in Kherson’s public transport stop.
Governor Serhii Lysak reported one death and two injuries from drone and missile strikes in Dnipropetrovsk.
An attack at the Zaporizhzhia reactor cut the “last link” to the Ukrainian electrical grid, according to nuclear energy operator Energoatom.
For the sixth time since Russia invaded a year ago, the facility is running on diesel generators with fuel for just 10 days.
Russian-installed officials in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, called the power station’s closure “a provocation.”
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, described Russia’s “wretched tactics” on what was “a tough night.”
He said electricity systems and services were restored after the “massive” rocket attack that devastated residential structures and key infrastructure.
Once Mayor Vitaly Klitschko reported explosions in Kyiv’s western and southern neighbourhoods, emergency personnel arrived.
Odesa governor Maksym Marchenko said a mass missile attack on an energy complex caused power interruptions. .
Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded just over a year ago. Tens of thousands of military and civilians have perished or been injured, and millions more Ukrainians have fled.
On Wednesday, US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines stated that President Putin may prolong the fight for years but that Russia was unable to launch substantial new offensives this year.
She called the Ukraine conflict an “attritional grinding war” with no apparent military advantage.
She said Putin may think prolonging the war, even with pauses, is his greatest chance of protecting Russia’s strategic objectives in Ukraine, even if it takes years. She warned the Russian military would not recover enough this year to achieve big territorial advances.
Ms. Haines believes Russia may defend the territories won. She added that “mandatory mobilisation and third-party ammunition supplies” will be needed to maintain existing efforts in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian general staff said that “the enemy maintained its advances and has displayed no sign of a let-up in taking the city of Bakhmut”.
Western officials estimate that 20,000–30,000 Russian troops have died or been injured in the Bakhmut battle since last summer. Figures are unverifiable.
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