A massive wave of Russian missiles has struck multiple cities in Ukraine on Thursday, reportedly causing power cuts and injuring three people in Kyiv, according to Ukrainian officials.
“According to preliminary data, 69 missiles were launched in total. 54 enemy cruise missiles were shot down by the assets of the Defence Forces of Ukraine,” Chief Commander Valery Zaluzhnyy said on Facebook.
“Several explosions” were heard in Kyiv, injuring three people, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram, adding that “16 missiles (had) been destroyed” in the sky of the capital by Ukrainian air defence forces.
40 per cent of Kyiv residents are without electricity, the mayor said, adding the city was “supplying heat and water in normal mode, except for the houses where there is no power supply.”
The strikes also hit the western city of Lviv, which is less than 100 kilometres from the Polish border, local officials said.
“90 percent of the city is without electricity,” Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on Telegram.
Four missiles aimed at “critical infrastructure” hit Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, according to the region’s governor Oleh Syniehubov.
Search-and-rescue operations are ongoing to evaluate the damage and find potential victims, Syniehubov said.
Russia has been increasingly targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in recent weeks, causing frequent blackouts in several cities throughout the country, with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accusing Moscow of using the winter season as a “weapon of mass destruction.”
This article was updated with new data from Ukrainian military officials.