Last updated: 17.43
Russia launched one of its biggest missile attacks in its war with Ukraine on Sunday, killing 18 civilians, injuring more than 130 and hitting residential buildings in Kiev, in the south and west of the country, officials said.
Ukraine's foreign ministry said the large-scale airstrikes in the final days of the year showed that there should be no “peace talks” with the Kremlin at a time when Kiev faces uncertainty over the future of crucial Western support.
“Today, millions of Ukrainians woke up to the loud sound of explosions. I want these explosions in Ukraine to be heard all over the world,” noted Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, appealing to Kiev's allies to continue providing long-term military aid. in his country.
At least three people were killed and 32 injured in strikes on residential buildings and uninhabited properties in the capital, Gaya, police and other officials said.
Maria, who lives in Kiev, told Reuters she was awakened by a “terrible explosion” and took refuge in the bathroom of her home.
“It was very scary. A rocket was flying in the air and everything around was buzzing. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to run for shelter,” he said. “As soon as I got into the bathroom, the mirror was thrown off the wall.”
The air force said it shot down 87 cruise missiles and 27 drones out of a total of 158 aerial “targets” launched by Russia.
NATO member Poland said an unidentified object from neighboring Ukraine entered its airspace and was detected by its air defenses until its signal disappeared from radar.
Ukrainian PA spokesman Yuri Ikhnat neither confirmed nor denied the report, but noted similar incidents in Poland and Romania during previous Russian airstrikes.
Army chief General Valery Zaluzny said the attacks targeted critical infrastructure and industrial and military facilities.
“Russia attacked with everything in its arsenal (…) about 110 missiles were launched, most of which were shot down,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.
Ukraine has been warning for weeks that Russia could build up a stockpile of missiles to launch a major air strike on its energy system. Last winter, millions of people were left in the dark when Russian bombing knocked out the power grid.
Today's strike was “one of the largest missile attacks on Ukrainian towns and villages” since Russia invaded in February 2022, the Foreign Ministry said.
The Energy Ministry announced power outages in southern Odesa, northeastern Kharkiv, central Dnipropetrovsk and areas outside Kyiv.
Detailed information on damage
Viktor Suhunov, 73, told Reuters he was in his home when he suddenly heard a loud explosion as rescuers searched through the rubble of a raid that hit a house in the southeastern city of Zaporizhia.
“A woman died here. I don't know if her son was home, maybe he was at work,” he said of the house.
Rockets also hit several infrastructure facilities in Zaporizhia, the interior minister said on the Telegram news service.
Five people were killed when rockets hit a shopping mall, a house and a six-story building in the central district of Dnipropetrovsk.
Three people were killed and at least 15 injured in the Black Sea port city of Odessa, including two children, the regional governor said, citing strikes on residential buildings.
The president's office said missile attacks on unnamed critical infrastructure facilities in the Lviv region, bordering Poland, were confirmed.
One person was killed in a high-rise building in Lviv that was destroyed, the regional governor said. The mayor said three schools and a kindergarten were also damaged.
In the northeastern city of Kargi, the missile attack destroyed a warehouse, industrial facilities, medical facilities and a transport depot, the regional governor said. He said that one person died and 11 people were injured.