Russian airstrikes reported across Ukraine, including ‘attack on capital’


Kyiv, Ukraine
CNN

Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine on Saturday as Russia launched another series of missile strikes across the country.

Rockets and explosions were heard everywhere from Lviv in the west; Kharkov in the northeast; Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro in the southeast; Myokalev in the south; and Kharkiv in the northeast, officials said.

Authorities in Kiev said there was an “attack on the capital”. According to the head of the military administration of the Kiev region, Oleksiy Kuleba, the explosions were heard as early as 6 a.m. local time. Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said there were strikes on the eastern bank of the city, where several power stations were located. The exact locations of the explosions could not be immediately verified by CNN. A thick fog covered much of the city.

However, Oleksandr Pavliuk, a Kiev-based commander in the Ukrainian army, said the explosions in Kiev were not caused by Russian attacks.

“The explosions are not related to the airborne threat or air defense, nor to any military action,” Pavliuk wrote on the encrypted social media app Telegram. “If there had been a threat, you would have heard the alarm. The cause of the explosions will be reported separately.”

No casualties had been reported as of Saturday afternoon, but that could change as a nine-story apartment block was hit in Dnipro. At least 10 people, including two children, were injured, according to Valentyn Reznichenko, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Military Administration. Three are in serious condition.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, rescued 15 people from the rubble.

Russia’s latest nationwide salvo appeared to target critical infrastructure across Ukraine as the Kremlin continues its efforts to limit the country’s ability to heat and power itself in the middle of winter.

On the battlefield, all eyes are on Soledar, a city of little strategic value that Russia is trying to recapture in hopes of bringing a symbolic victory to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Several units of the Ukrainian army said Soledar remains the scene of “fierce fighting”. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that its forces had taken control of the city, although Kiev has denied this.

After a wide-ranging assessment of the situation on the ground in Ukraine, several Western governments have decided to heed Zelensky’s long-standing call for modern main battle tanks to be delivered to Kiev.

France, Poland and the United Kingdom have promised to soon send tanks for the Ukrainian army to use to defend itself against Russia. Finland is considering following suit. Britain said it plans to send a dozen Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems. Poland plans to send a company of German-made Leopard tanks, while France will provide its domestically built AMX 10-RCs.

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