Kiev, Dec 30 (UiTV/IANS) – Cities across Ukraine were targeted by the latest wave of Russian missile strikes, deemed to be one of the largest bombardments since the war began on February 24, authorities said.
Thursday’s strikes followed overnight attacks with kamikaze drones across the war-torn nation, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ukrainian Air Force Command as saying in a social media post.
Ukraine’s military said 69 missiles were launched, with air defences intercepting 54 of them.
Earlier, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak had said more than 120 missiles had been launched at civilian infrastructure.
Media reports said air raid sirens rang out across the country and in Kiev sounded for five hours.
At least least three people, including a 14-year-old girl, were injured as a result of the impact of a strike on a private residence in Kiev’s southeastern Darnytskyi district, the capital’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
At least four S-300 missiles hit critical infrastructure facilities in the city of Kharkiv in the east of Ukraine, Kharkiv regional governor Oleg Sinegubov said.
Local authorities also reported explosions in the Lviv region in the west, and in the Poltava region in the central part of the country.
In the southern Odesa region, fragments of a cruise missile fell on a residential building, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said on Telegram.
Eyewitnesses reported strong blasts in the northwest of the Ukrainian capital and its outskirts, and according to some people in Kiev, glass was shaking in apartment buildings, it said.
Dozens of Russian attacks have pounded Ukraine in recent weeks, causing repeated power cuts across the country.
Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said THursday’s strikes had damaged power generating facilities and said the situation was “difficult” in the Odesa and Kyiv regions.
The mayor of Lviv said on Thursday that 90 per cent of his city was without power, while Klitschko said that 40 per cent of Kiev had been left without power.
Power cuts were also reported in the Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk regions.
Thursday’s attack came just hours after the Kremlin rejected Ukraine’s suggestion that peace talks could begin in 2023.