Lviv, Ukraine, Feb 10 (EFE).- Air raid sirens have sounded across the whole of Ukraine with the capital Kyiv registering several explosions on Friday after Russia stepped up attacks across several regions targeting power supplies.
“Several explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital on the morning of Feb. 10 as part of Russia’s latest mass missile attack on Ukraine,” local authorities reported, according to the Kyiv Independent.
“Air defense is currently active in the area,” the newspaper said on Twitter.
There have been no reports of casualties or deaths.
Ukraine’s air force reported it had shot down five Kalibr cruise missiles and five Shahed-136/131 drones that Russian forces were planning to use to attack cities and critical infrastructure in Ukraine, according to Ukrinfrom.
The report added that Russian forces “used seven Shahed-136/131 kamikaze drones from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov and six Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles from a Russian frigate in the Black Sea.”
Although the heaviest fighting is taking place in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east of the country, on the border with Russia, Moscow has also increased its attacks in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions in the southwest.
The four oblasts were unilaterally annexed by Russia in September 2022 following a series of referendums in the occupied areas although the Russian army no longer has full control of the annexed regions.
Explosions were heard in various parts of Zaporizhzhia, including the regional capital and Vinnytsia, while in the neighboring Dnipro region local authorities warned of a drone attack.
Russian forces ramped up attacks targeting energy infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia at dawn, hitting the city 17 times in one hour, the city mayor, Anatolii Kurtiev, was quoted as saying by The Kyiv Independent.
According to Kurtiev, this is the largest number of attacks launched by Russia in Zaporizhzhia since the beginning of the war.
Concern has mounted over the safety of the Zaporizhzhia power plant, which has been disconnected from the energy system, prompting a meeting between the Russian Atomic Agency, Rosatom, and the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday to discuss the creation of a safety and security zone around the power station.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government has warned that Russia is preparing a major offensive to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine on 24 February.
Friday’s attacks came hours after Zelenskyy addressed the European Parliament on Thursday during a whistlestop overseas trip to drum up further military support, including the provision of fighter jets, from Kyiv’s allies. EFE