At least 12 people are dead after Russia hurled missiles at cities across Ukraine early Friday morning, April 28 killing 12. its first large-scale air strikes in nearly two months.
The attacks were carried out as Kyiv prepares to launch a counteroffensive to try to retake Russian-occupied territory.
In the central city of Uman, firefighters battled a raging blaze at a residential apartment building that had been struck on an upper floor. At least 10 people were killed, including two children, and nine were taken to hospital, regional governor Ihor Taburets said.
“At first the windows were blown out, then came the explosion,” a resident of the apartment building who gave her name only as Olga said to Reuters as rescue workers dug through the debris. “Everything flew out.”
In the southeastern city of Dnipro, a missile struck a house, killing a two-year-old child and a 31-year-old woman, regional governor Serhiy Lysak said. Three people were also wounded in the attack.
The capital Kyiv was also rocked by explosions, with officials reporting that air defence units had destroyed 11 missiles and two drones.
Two people were wounded in the town of Ukrayinka just south of Kyiv, officials said.
The Ukrainian military said it had shot down 21 out of 23 cruise missiles fired by Russia.
“This Russian terror must face a fair response from Ukraine and the world,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote in a Telegram post alongside images of the wreckage. “And it will.”
Russia has regularly struck civilian infrastructure, particularly energy facilities throughout the winter.
Moscow says it does not deliberately target civilians, but its air strikes and shelling have killed thousands of people and devastated cities and towns across Ukraine. Kyiv says strikes on cities far from the front lines have no military purpose apart from harming civilians, a war crime.
The Russia -Ukraine war is at a stalemate with both sides making little or no gains after a months-long Russian winter offensive. Kyiv is preparing a counter-offensive using hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles sent by the West.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 2022 with president Vladimir Putin claiming he wanted to demilitarize and denazify the country.
Russia holds a swathe of territory across southern and southeastern Ukraine, and seized and annexed the Crimea peninsula in 2014.