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UPDATE: Russia launches new strikes on Ukrainian cities

16.12.2022 13:30
Russian missiles on Friday battered Ukraine’s energy facilities, forcing emergency power cuts around the country and killing at least two people, news outlets reported. 
Residents in Ukraines capital Kyiv take shelter from Russian missile attacks in the citys subway system on Friday, December 16, 2022.
Residents in Ukraine's capital Kyiv take shelter from Russian missile attacks in the city's subway system on Friday, December 16, 2022. PAP/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

The strikes, which also featured unmanned aerial vehicles, pounded critical infrastructure as well as hitting residential areas, according to the Reuters news agency.

Electricity was knocked out in the central city of Poltava and in parts of the capital Kyiv, among other places; Kyiv’s subway was stopped and its deep stations were used as air raid shelters, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. 

There were also cuts in water supply to the capital, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.  

'Colossal' damage in Kharkiv: mayor

Meanwhile, Ihor Terekhov, the mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, in the northeast, said Friday’s attack caused “colossal” damage.

Terekhov told residents, as quoted by Reuters: "There is colossal damage to infrastructure, primarily the energy system. I ask you to be patient with what is happening now. I know that in your houses there is no light, no heating, no water supply."

Two people were killed in the attack on the central city of Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelensky, news outlets reported.

The strike also left at least eight people wounded, including three small children, according to reports, with officials saying that a rescue operation was under way. 

A third person died in a fire in the southern Kherson province, following the shelling of an apartment building, Reuters reported.  

Over 60 missiles fired on Ukraine on Friday: officials 

Overall, Russia launched more than 60 missiles on cities in Ukraine’s north, south, west and centre on Friday morning, officials said. 

Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force, told reporters: "At this moment, we have information on over 60 missiles that flew over Ukraine. These are Kh-555 and Kh-101 missiles, traditionally launched from Tu-95 aircraft, as well as Kalibr (cruise missiles) launched from the Black Sea,” the Ukrainska Pravda website reported.

Ihnat added, as quoted by Ukrainska Pravda: “We also recorded launches of the S-300. The (Tupolev) Tu-22M3 bombers are also at work, launching Kh-22 missiles. In addition, MiG-31K combat aircraft that might be armed with Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles were spotted in the skies."

Ihnat went on to say: “The enemy wanted to distract the attention of Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence on a massive scale, to keep them in suspense. Also, Su-35 aircraft deployed Kh-59 missiles. The anti-aircraft defence has done a reasonable job; we will be reporting on the results."

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to President Zelensky, said in a tweet: “Another massive attack on Ukrainian cities, energy, residential buildings.”

He added: “Anyone else want to propose a ‘peaceful settlement’ to allow Putin to save face?”

“Should we further slow down the process of transferring Missile Defence in order to ‘prevent escalation?,’ Podolyak also wrote. 

Since October, Russia has systematically targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with rocket and drone attacks, leaving millions without electricity, heat and access to drinking water. 

US broadcaster CNN reported on Tuesday that the administration of US President Joe Biden was finalising plans to provide Ukraine with the Patriot air defence system and could announce the move later this week. 

Friday is day 296 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, Ukrainska Pravda, BBC