Ukraine pummeled in unprecedented Russian attack that kills dozens

Lviv, Ukraine - Russia pummeled Ukraine with drones and cruise missiles on Thursday night and Friday morning, with deaths and damage reported across the country.

Russia on Thursday night launched a large-scale bombardment of Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, which stretched into Friday.
Russia on Thursday night launched a large-scale bombardment of Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, which stretched into Friday.  © IMAGO / ABACAPRESS

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi called it the "largest air attack" on Ukraine since the beginning of the war almost two years ago.

He said 122 rockets and cruise missiles and 36 drones had targeted the country, with air defenses intercepting 70% of the attacks.

In the western city of Lviv, a critical infrastructure facility was hit in a drone attack, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on Telegram. In the south, debris from a downed drone caused a fire in a high-rise building in Odessa. Kharkiv in the north-east, meanwhile, saw several explosions following missile attacks.

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At least 30 people were killed and scores more wounded.

Second wave of Russian attacks on Friday morning

The western city of Lviv was also hit by drone attacks and cruise missiles.
The western city of Lviv was also hit by drone attacks and cruise missiles.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

In the north-eastern region of Sumy, the impact of a missile in the town of Konotop injured three people and damaged an apartment building and a workshop.

More than 10 rockets also fell at night in Kharkiv. There was initially no information on casualties. The extent of the damage had to be verified, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

A second wave of airstrikes followed in the morning. A nationwide air alert was issued due to the attacks. Ukrainians were told to go to air raid shelters.

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Kyiv and Dnipro were also targeted by Russian attacks. Explosions were reported from both cities with over a million inhabitants. It was initially unclear whether these were impacts from Russian missiles or whether they were interceptions from air defense systems.

The assault came just days after Ukraine's air force destroyed a Russian fleet ship off the Crimean peninsula suspected of carrying drones for use in Moscow's war against Kyiv.

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In Dnipro, a maternity ward was hit by Russian airstrikes.
In Dnipro, a maternity ward was hit by Russian airstrikes.  © REUTERS

Interior Minister Igor Klymenko confirmed that at least "30 people have been killed and more than 160 wounded as a result of Russia's massive attack on Ukrainian territory in the morning."

Late Friday, Russian authorities said a strike on a residential building in Belgorod, 50 miles north of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, had left one dead and four wounded.

Among the targets hit by Russian strikes was a maternity hospital in Dnipro, which was "severely damaged." There were 12 women in labor and four newborns inside when it was struck, said Sergiy Lysak, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region.

Staff and patients were able to shelter in time.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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