Russia unleashed a missile barrage targeting energy infrastructure across Ukraine early Thursday, hitting residential buildings and killing at least six people in the largest such attack in three weeks, officials said.
In southern Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is occupied by Russian forces, lost power as a result of the missile attacks, according to nuclear state operator Energoatom.
It is the sixth time the plant has been in a state of blackout since it was taken over by Russia months ago, forcing it to rely on 18 diesel generators that can run the station for 10 days, Energoatom said. Nuclear plants need constant power to run cooling systems and avoid a meltdown.
“The countdown has begun,” Energoatom said.
Five people were killed in the Lviv region after a missile struck a residential area, Lviv Gov. Maksym Kozytskyi said. Three buildings were destroyed by fire and rescue workers were combing through rubble looking for more possible victims, he said.
A sixth person was killed and two others wounded in multiple strikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region that targeted its energy infrastructure and industrial facilities, Gov. Serhii Lysak said.
Air raid sirens wailed through the night across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, where explosions occurred in two western areas of the city. Defense systems were activated around the country.
Overall, Russia launched 81 missiles and eight exploding Shahed drones, according to Ukraine’s Chief Commander of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi. Thirty-four cruise missiles were intercepted, as were four drones, he said.
Kyiv’s city administration said the capital was attacked with both missiles and exploding drones. Many were intercepted but its energy infrastructure was hit.
Three people were wounded in Kyiv’s Sviatoshynskyi district, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, and several cars on a residential street could be seen burned out in the aftermath of the attack, which also shattered the windows of some apartments.
“We woke up from the explosion, it was very loud and we saw the cars burning,” said Maryna Kuryluk, a 49-year-old resident whose car was among those damaged, possibly from the debris of a missile that had been intercepted.
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