Russia fires barrage of missiles on Ukraine cities

Missile attacks wound two in Kyiv, hit energy facilities in Odesa and critical infrastructure in Kharkiv, mayor and governors say.

Three Russian rockets launched against Ukraine from Russia's Belgorod region are seen at dawn in Kharkiv, Ukraine
Three Russian rockets launched against Ukraine from Russia's Belgorod region are seen at dawn in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 9, 2023 [Vadim Belikov/ AP]

Russia has unleashed a barrage of missiles on cities across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, the Black Sea port of Odesa and the northeastern city of Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian officials and media reports.

The missile attacks set off air raid sirens all across Ukraine early on Thursday.

In Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said two people were wounded following explosions in the city’s Svyatoshynsky and Holosiivskyi districts.

Power supply has been cut pre-emptively to about 15 percent of Kyiv residents, he added.

In eastern Ukraine, 15 missiles struck the city of Kharkiv and the outlying region, hitting residential buildings, according to 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 is again in the crosshairs of the occupants,” he said in a Telegram post.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported on Telegram that there were “problems with electricity” in some parts of the city.

In the Odesa region, Governor Maksym Marchenko said on Telegram that a mass missile attack had hit an energy facility in the port city, cutting off power.

Anti-aircraft units had downed some missiles and new attacks could follow, he said, urging residents to stay in shelters.

“Fortunately, there are no casualties. Electricity restrictions are in effect,” the governor added.

More explosions were reported in the northern city of Chernihiv and the western Lviv region, as well as in the cities of Dnipro, Lutsk and Rivne. Ukrainian media also reported explosions in the western regions of Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Energoatom state company said the missile attacks caused the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is under Russian control, to lose electric power supply. “The last link between the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and the Ukrainian power system was cut off,” it said in a statement.

Energoatom said that the fifth and sixth reactor have been shut down and electric power needed for the plant’s functioning is supplied by 18 diesel generators which have enough fuel for 10 days.

Preventive emergency power cuts were applied in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Odesa regions, supplier DTEK said.

Ukrainian Railways also 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, it said.

Russia has been hitting Ukraine with waves of missile attacks since last October.

Initially, the barrages targeting the country’s energy infrastructure took place weekly, plunging the entire cities into darkness, but became more spread out in time, with commentators speculating that Moscow may be saving up ammunition.

The last barrage took place on February 16.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies