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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Russian strikes hit several Ukrainian cities overnight

At least five people were killed in strikes that hit the central cities of Dnipro and Uman.

Russian missile strikes targeted several Ukrainian cities overnight including the capital Kyiv, officials said Friday.

At least five people were killed in strikes that hit the central cities of Dnipro and Uman.

While Russia regularly bombed Ukrainian cities and infrastructure last winter, the massive strikes had tailed off in recent months. Kyiv had not been targeted by missiles in more than 50 days.

Read more: Zelensky’s top adviser blames US for Ukraine conflict

Most fighting is now taking place in the east for control of the industrial Donbas region, particularly the city of Bakhmut, which has been almost completely destroyed.

Missiles “killed civilians again in the city of Dnipro”, city mayor Borys Filatov said Friday on Telegram, adding: “A young woman and a three-year-old child died.”

Air defence systems were also activated in Kyiv, according to local officials.

“After a pause of 51 days, the enemy launched another missile attack on Kyiv,” said local air defence forces head Sergey Popko, according to the city administration.

“According to preliminary data, 11 cruise missiles were destroyed in Kyiv airspace. In addition to the missiles, two drones were shot down.”

No casualties or damage to buildings were reported.

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Ukraine’s air defence system has been bolstered in recent months by the delivery of Western equipment crucial to the country’s war effort.

In particular, Kyiv received the sophisticated American Patriot systems in April.

While it has not faced missile barrages since early March, the capital was the target last week of an attack by 12 Iranian-made drones, eight of which were shot down without causing any casualties.

In Uman, a central city of 80,000 inhabitants, a video broadcast by Ukrainian media showed a gutted apartment building, rubble strewn around it.

“An enemy missile hit a residential building. Information about the victims is being clarified,” Zoya Vovk, spokesperson for the regional police, said on Telegram.

According to regional governor Igor Tabourets, Uman was hit by two cruise missiles, with one hitting a residential building and the other a warehouse.

“As of 7:00 am, three people were killed and 8 were injured,” said Minister of Internal Affairs Igor Klymenko, referring to the attack in Uman.

Ukraine and Russia have been fighting since Moscow’s February 2022 invasion.

Ukraine says it has been preparing for months a counter-offensive aimed at repelling Russian forces from the territory they currently hold in the east and south.