KYIV, Dec. 5 (Reuters) – Russia rained long-range missiles on Ukraine on Monday, killing two people, destroying homes in the southeast and causing power outages, but Kiev said its air defenses had contained damage.
Air raid sirens blared across the country and men, women and children huddled in the capital’s cavernous subway system for cover during the latest major wave of rocket attacks since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow has been targeting Ukraine’s power grid in intense waves of attacks since October, and state power company Ukrenergo, which runs the national power grid, said more infrastructure was affected on Monday
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal later said energy facilities had been hit in the regions of Kyiv, Vinnytsia in west-central Ukraine and Odessa in the south, but Ukraine’s energy system was still functioning.
The air force said more than 60 of the more than 70 missiles fired at Ukraine had been shot down.
“Our guys are great,” Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff, wrote on Telegram.
Kiev, a city of about 3 million, appeared to have escaped serious damage, although the governor of the Kiev region said 40% of the region’s residents were left without power after unspecified infrastructure was hit.
After an hours-long air strike warning ended, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told his fellow Ukrainians that air defenses had “shot down most of the missiles”. Kiev officials said nine of the 10 rockets fired at the capital had been shot down.
AIR ATTACKS WERE EXPECTED
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential office, said rockets had crashed into buildings in southeastern Zaporizhzhia, destroying several homes and killing two people. Three people were injured, including a small child, he said.
The water supply in the Odessa region was cut off because all pumping stations and reserve pipes were out of power, the regional water company reported on Telegram.
The new attacks had been predicted for days. They finally came up with the temperature in Kiev minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit). Residents had just been told the emergency power outage was over after previous damage had been repaired.
Military intelligence official Andriy Yusov said the attacks had mostly hit “civilian infrastructure, mainly energy infrastructure”.
US Ambassador Bridget Brink said the attacks on civilian infrastructure “showcase Russia’s vicious strategy: to bring its war into every Ukrainian home.”
Russian forces have increasingly focused on Ukrainian energy facilities as they suffered battlefield setbacks that caused power cuts as winter set in.
Power outages in neighboring Moldova were reported by the electricity company Moldelectrica. It later said no consumer had lost power and the risk of new closures had passed.
Moldovan police found fragments of a missile that fell in a region of northern Moldova near the border with Ukraine, state information portal Prima Sursa said.
Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Max Hunder, Olena Harmash and Alexander Tanas; Written by Tom Balmforth; Edited by Timothy Heritage and Howard Goller
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