Conflicts & War

Russia launches largest missile barrage of Ukraine invasion

(Update 1: changes headline, reledes, adds detail throughout)

Lviv, Ukraine, Feb 10 (EFE).- Russia has launched its largest missile attack on Ukraine since invading the country almost a year ago, the Ukrainian Army reported on Friday.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman, Yurii Ihnat, said the massive missile attack across Ukraine was likely a “record strike,” the Ukrinform news agency quoted him as saying.

“The Russians fired up to 35 anti-aircraft missiles at the Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions at night,” Ihnat said.

“They (Russians) use these weapons as terror. While we shoot down enemy missiles using S-300s, Russia launches them (S-300s) into densely populated cities,” the military spokesperson said.

The official called for more heavy weapons to be delivered to Ukraine to counter Russia’s offensive.

“We need more powerful weapons and an adequate response to the enemy who is terrorizing civilians,” Ihnat said.

Air raid sirens sounded across the whole of Ukraine early on Friday, with several explosions hitting the capital Kyiv as Russia stepped up its attacks on the Ukrainian power grid.

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said emergency power outages have been introduced after thermal and hydropower facilities as well as high-voltage infrastructure were struck.

“The most challenging situation is in the Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv and Khmelnytskyi regions,” Galushchenko said.

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.

Although the heaviest fighting is taking place in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, on the border with Russia, Moscow has also stepped up its attacks in the southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.

The four oblasts were unilaterally annexed by Russia in September 2022, despite the Russian army not controlling any of the regions entirely.

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.

Kurtiev said it was the largest number of attacks launched by Russia on Zaporizhzhia, which is home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, since the beginning of the war.

There are concerns over the safety of the Zaporizhzhia power station, 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 ahead of the one-year anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Friday’s attacks came hours after Zelenskyy addressed EU leaders on Thursday during a whistlestop overseas trip to drum up Western military support, including the provision of fighter jets. EFE


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