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Three Russian rockets launched against Ukraine from Russia’s Belgorod region are seen at dawn in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photo / AP
Russia has unleashed a massive missile barrage on cities across Ukraine this afternoon, targeting energy infrastructure facilities, officials and media have said.
At least five people have been killed and several more have been wounded.
Air raid sirens wailed all over Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, in the first such missile attack in three weeks. Ukrainian media said air defence systems 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 Governor 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 are again in the cross-hairs of the occupants,” he said in a Telegram post.
The governor of the southern Odesa region, Maksym Marchenko, also reported strikes on Odesa, saying 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 per cent of the capital’s energy consumers were without power due to the emergency power cuts.
Explosions were also reported in the northern city of Chernihiv and the western Lviv region. Additional explosions were reported in cities in Dnieper, Lutsk and Rivne.
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 entire cities into darkness, but they became more spread out in time, with commentators speculating that Moscow may be saving up ammunition.
The last massive barrage took place on February 16.
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