As hostilities resumed, Russia fired a barrage of cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets early Friday morning, marking the end of a nearly 80-day lull, CNN reported, citing Ukrainian officials.
The airstrike on Kiev lasted almost two hours, but air defenses successfully intercepted all missiles aimed at the capital, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration. Although some houses in Kiev were damaged by “enemy targets shot down,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said.
A rocket attack on Pavlohrad in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region left one dead and four injured, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, overnight strikes in the eastern Kharkiv region left one person dead and several others injured. Damage was reported in Kupiansk district and the city of Kharkiv, including a damaged residential building and numerous affected apartments and cars.
According to Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv region’s military administration, Russia attacked Kharkiv with six S-300 missiles, prompting an investigation by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office.
The rocket fire, consisting of 19 rockets across Ukraine, was the first such attack in over two months. Western intelligence assessments had warned of a possible escalation in Russian bombing of civilian infrastructure over the winter.
Of the 19 missiles fired, 14 were reportedly destroyed in the Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said, CNN reported.
“After a long break of 79 days, the enemy resumed attacks with cruise missiles fired from Tu-95MS strategic aircraft. Preliminarily, about 10 bomber-missile carriers fired Kh-101/555/55 cruise missiles from the urban area of Engels. Saratov region,” Popko explained on Telegram.
The last major cruise missile attack on Ukraine occurred on September 21, with 43 missiles fired and 36 intercepted, according to Air Force Command’s official Telegram account. In November, Russia launched a major drone strike using 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones, followed by another 48 Shaheds on Wednesday.
The deputy chief of Ukraine’s defense intelligence service, Vadym Skibitsky, warned in November that Russia could use a combination of missiles and drones to attack Ukrainian infrastructure this winter. Despite improved Ukrainian defenses this winter, Skibitsky warned that Russia’s attacks would be more sophisticated than last year’s primitive attacks, CNN reported.
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