Russia fires barrage of missiles on Ukraine cities, energy grid

  • Cruise missiles were fired at several cities in Ukraine.
  • The military says it shot down 54 of 69 Russian missiles
  • Russia’s Lavrov says Ukraine peace plan ‘a mirage’

KYIV, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Russia fired several missiles into Ukraine early on Thursday, hitting Kyiv and other cities including Lviv in the west and Odessa in the southwest, sending people into shelters. and shut down the power in one of Moscow’s largest airports. attacks

“Stupid barbarity. These are the words that come to mind as Russia launches yet another missile barrage on peaceful Ukrainian cities before the New Year,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Koliba wrote on Twitter.

Ukraine’s military says it has shot down 54 of the 69 missiles fired by Russia. Air raid sirens rang out in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, for five hours. Officials previously said more than 120 missiles were fired during the attack.

Footage from the Reuters news agency showed emergency workers wading through the rubble of residential buildings in Kyiv, destroyed by an explosion and smoke trails from missiles in the sky.

In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, firefighters battled a large fire at a power station. In the south-central city of Zaporizhzhia, houses were damaged and a missile left a large crater.

“I woke up with everything shaking, broken. I got up and shouted, ‘Vita, Vitya (my husband), where are you?’ I ran over the glass barefoot. He appeared and the glass was falling off him,” said Halina, a 60-year-old local resident.

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Ukraine’s military said Russia fired air and sea-based cruise missiles and anti-aircraft missiles at energy infrastructure facilities in the eastern, central, western and southern regions. The attacks followed an overnight attack by “kamikaze” drones.

More than 18 residential buildings and 10 critical infrastructures were destroyed in the latest attacks, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Waves of Russian airstrikes targeting energy infrastructure in recent months have left millions without electricity and heat in often freezing temperatures.

‘Skills and Efficiency’

“The enemy set a high stakes for this attack, preparing for it for two weeks,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal said on the Telegram messaging app.

Schmihal said that emergency power outages may be applied in some areas to avoid accidents in the networks.

Two private houses were damaged by shrapnel from the downed missiles, and a business and a playground were also damaged in the Darnetskyi district, Kyiv officials said. Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said 16 missiles were shot down and three people were injured in the attacks.

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Lviv’s mayor, Andriy Sadovyi, said on Telegram that 90 percent of his city near the Polish border was without power. The missiles damaged the energy infrastructure.

In the Odesa region, shrapnel from a missile hit a residential building, though no casualties were reported, its governor Maxim Marchenko said.

Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, but Ukraine says its daily bombardment is destroying cities, towns and the country’s electricity, medical and other infrastructure.

For months, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked Western countries for more air defense support. The United States last week announced nearly $2 billion in additional military aid, including the Patriot air defense system, which provides protection against aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles.

Belarus protested Thursday to Ukraine’s ambassador, saying it had shot down a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile. TV footage released by Belarus’ state news agency Belta showed what appeared to be missile debris in a field. A Ukrainian military spokesman actually acknowledged that the missile had strayed from Ukraine, saying the incident was “nothing strange, the result of air defense” and something that “has happened more than once”. .

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said it was ready to invite qualified experts from countries that do not support the “terrorist state of Russia” to participate in the investigation.

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“The worst part is that peaceful people have suffered again,” a ministry statement said, referring to Russia’s bombing.

In Russia, a regional governor said air defenses shot down a drone near Engels Air Force Base, hundreds of kilometers from the front lines in Ukraine and home to long-range strategic bombers. Russia says Ukraine has already attempted to attack the base twice this month.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” to demilitarize its neighbor. Ukraine and its Western allies have called Russia’s actions an imperialist land grab.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Zelensky’s idea that Western help would drive Russia out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea and pay reparations to Moscow was “a delusion.”

There is still no possibility of negotiations to end the war.

Zelensky is pushing for a 10-point peace plan that calls for Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and withdraw all its troops.

Additional reporting by the Reuters TV team in Zaporizhzhia and other Reuters bureaus; Written by Alexandra Hudson, Nick McPhee and Grant McCool; Edited by Gareth Jones

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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