At least 15 people were killed in the first significant airstrikes in nearly two months as Russia launched missiles at cities throughout Ukraine as people slept early on Friday.
As Kyiv gears up to launch a counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied territory, early morning attacks were carried out.
Firefighters fought a raging fire at a residential apartment building that had been struck on an upper-story in the central city of Uman. Regional governor Ihor Taburets reported that nine people were brought to the hospital and at least 15 people, including two children, were killed.
According to regional governor Serhiy Lysak, a missile struck a home in the city of Dnipro in the Southeast, killing a mother, 31, and her two-year-old child. Additionally, the attack injured three other people.
Out of the 23 cruise missiles fired by Russia, the Ukrainian military claimed to have destroyed 21 of them.
In a Telegram post that included pictures of the devastation, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated, “This Russian terror must face a fair response from Ukraine and the world. And it will.”
Though it frequently targets energy facilities throughout the winter, it was unclear what Russia was aiming for with its attacks on Friday.
As winter came to an end, these attacks tapered off, with the West claiming Moscow had exhausted most of its long-range missile stockpile in an unsuccessful attempt to ice over Ukrainian cities. Russia began launching these attacks around once a week late last year.
EXPLOSIONS IN KYIV
The Ukrainian capital Kyiv was also shaken by explosions, and according to officials, air defense units destroyed two drones and 11 missiles.
Officials reported that two individuals were hurt in the town of Ukrayinka, which is located south of Kyiv.
The Russian winter offensive, which lasted for months and involved the heaviest fighting yet, reached a turning point in the conflict. Using hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles that the West has sent, Kyiv is preparing a counter-offensive.
The eastern city of Bakhmut has been the center of fighting for months, as Russia strives to retake the remaining portions of the industrial Donbas region that it does not yet control.
Russia controls a large portion of Southern and Eastern Ukraine. In 2014, it also invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula.