Russia shot more than 20 cruise missiles and two drones against Ukraine in the early hours of Friday, killing at least 22 people, nearly all of them when two missiles slammed into an apartment building in a terrifying nighttime attack, authorities said. among the dead were three children.
The missile attacks included the first against kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, in almost two months, although no targets achieved were reported. The city government said the Ukrainian air force intercepted 11 cruise missiles and two unmanned aerial vehicles about kyiv.
The attacks against the nine-story residential building in central Ukraine occurred in uman, a city located about 215 kilometers south of kyiv. Twenty people were killed in that attack, according to the Interior Ministry. Among them there were two 10 year olds and a baby.
Another of the victims was a 75 year old woman that he lived in a neighboring building and that he suffered internal bleeding from the shock wave of the huge explosion, according to emergency personnel who were at the scene.
According to the Ukrainian national police, 17 people were injured and three children were rescued from among the rubble. Nine were hospitalized.
The shelling did not come near extensive front lines or active combat zones in eastern Ukraine, where a war of attrition has been raging. Moscow has launched frequent long-range missile attacks during the 14-month war, often hitting civilian areas indiscriminately.
Ukrainian officials and analysts have alleged that these attacks are part of a deliberate intimidation strategy by the Kremlin.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the long-range cruise missiles launched overnight were aimed at places where Ukrainian reserve military units were staying before their deployment to the battlefield.
“The attack has achieved its objective. All designated facilities have been hit,” said Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence. He did not mention specific areas or residential buildings hit.
Survivors of the Uman attacks recounted terrifying moments when the missiles hit while it was still dark outside.
halyna, a resident of a building, assured that she and her husband were covered in glass by the explosion. They saw flames outside her window and ran, but first Halyna checked to see if her friend from a neighboring apartment was okay.
“I called her on the phone, but she did not answer. I even rang her doorbell, but she still didn’t answer,” she told Associated Press. She used the spare keys to her friend’s apartment and went in to check on her. He found her dead on the floor.
Halyna declined to give her last name for security reasons.
Another resident of the building, Olha Turinadeclared to PA that crystals from the explosion flew everywhere.
Turina, whose husband is fighting at the front, said that one of his son’s classmates had disappeared.
“I don’t know where they are, I don’t know if they are alive,” he said. “I don’t know why we have to go through all this. We never bother anyone.”
three body bags They lay next to the building as smoke continued to billow hours after the attack. Soldiers, civilians and emergency teams searched for more victims among the rubble, while residents removed their belongings from the damaged building.
A woman, who was crying inconsolably, was taken by the rescue teams in search of help.
Julia Norovkova, A spokesman for the rescue teams at the scene said local volunteers were helping nearly 150 emergency personnel. Two aid stations, including psychologists, were operating, she added.
A 31-year-old woman and her 2-year-old daughter died also in the eastern city of dnipro in another attack, according to the regional governor serhii lysak. Four people were injured and a private home and a business were damaged.
The attacks occurred days after the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenskysaid that he and the Chinese leader Xi Jinping they had had a “long and significant” phone call in which the Asian stated that his government would send a peace envoy to Ukraine and to other nations.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kulebaaffirmed that the bombings on Friday show that the Kremlin is not interested in a peace agreement.
“Missile attacks killing innocent Ukrainians in their sleep, including a 2-year-old child, is Russia’s response to all peace initiatives,” he tweeted. “The way to peace is to drive Russia out of Ukraine”.
the czech president, Peter Pavelvisiting Ukraine, was not convinced by the Kremlin’s past denials of its responsibility for such bloodshed.
“The number of attacks against civilian targets leads to the only conclusion that it is deliberate”, Pavel declared to the Czech media. “He is a clear plan intended to cause chaos, horrors among the civilian population”.
Shortly after Moscow unleashed the barrage, the Russian Defense Ministry posted a photo on Telegram showing a missile being fired and read: “Right on target”.
The message sparked outrage from Ukrainians on social media and from some officials, who saw it as gloating over the casualties.
“The Ministry of Homicide of the Russian Federation he is glad that he hit a residential building with a rocket and killed civilians”, expressed Andriy Yermakhead of the presidential office of Ukraine.
In kyiv, fragments of intercepted missiles or drones damaged power lines and a road in a neighborhood. No casualties were reported.
In Ukrainkaa town about 10 kilometers south of kyiv, debris from downed missiles or drones left holes in the walls of some apartment buildings and a smashed pink stroller in the street.
“It seems like this nightmare has lasted for two years, but I still can’t wake up,” said Olena, 62. She asked that her last name not be used, claiming that her son lived in a sensitive military zone.
The Ukrainian authorities stated last week that they had received American-made Patriot missilesgiving kyiv a new shield against Russian air attacks, but it was not known if the system had been used on Friday.
The city’s anti-aircraft system was activated, according to the kyiv municipal administration. The anti-aircraft sirens began to sound around 4 am and the alert ended about two hours later.
The missile attack was the first in the capital since March 9. Air defenses have thwarted Russian drone strikes more recently.
The missiles were fired from aircraft operating in the region of the Caspian Seaaccording to the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
In all, he said, Ukraine intercepted 21 of 23 cruise missiles of the type Kh-101 and Kh-555 launched, as well as the two drones.
The war largely came to a halt during the boreal winter, becoming a war of attrition in which each side has shelled the other’s positions from a distance. Ukraine has been bolstering its mechanized brigades with armor supplied by its Western allies, which have also been training Ukrainian troops and sending ammunition, as kyiv contemplates a possible counteroffensive.
Meanwhile, the Moscow-appointed mayor of the Russian city of Donetsk, Alexei Kulemzinsaid that a Ukrainian rocket killed seven civilians in the city center on Friday. According to Kulemzin, the victims died when they hit a minibus.
(With information from AP)
More than 20 Russian soldiers died of poisoning in the occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol
Ukraine announced that its army is ready to launch a counteroffensive against the Russian invasion
Google Maps showed updated images of Mariupol, the Ukrainian city devastated by Putin’s troops