Russia launches cruise missile barrage on Ukraine after extended pause

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KYIV (Ukraine) : In the resumption of hostilities, Russia fired a barrage of cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets early on Friday morning, marking the end of an almost 80-day pause, CNN reported, citing Ukrainian officials.

The air raid in Kyiv lasted for nearly two hours, but air defences successfully intercepted all missiles heading towards the capital, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration. Although some homes in Kyiv suffered damage from “downed enemy targets,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said.

A missile striking Pavlohrad in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region resulted in one fatality and four injuries, as announced by Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, in the eastern Kharkiv region, overnight strikes claimed one life and left several others injured. Damage was reported in Kupiansk district and Kharkiv city, including a damaged residential building and numerous affected apartments and cars.

According to Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv region’s military administration, Russia targeted Kharkiv with six S-300 missiles, prompting an investigation by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office.

The missile barrage, consisting of 19 missiles across Ukraine, marked the first such attack in over two months. Western intelligence assessments had warned of a potential escalation in Russia’s bombardment of civilian infrastructure during the winter.

Of the 19 missiles launched, 14 were reportedly destroyed in the Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions, according to Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, as reported by CNN.

“After a long pause of 79 days, the enemy resumed attacks with cruise missiles launched by Tu-95MS strategic aircraft. Preliminarily, approximately 10 bomber missile carriers fired cruise missiles of the Kh-101/555/55 type from the Engels city area, Saratov region,” stated Popko on Telegram.

The last significant cruise missile attack on Ukraine occurred on September 21, with 43 missiles launched and 36 intercepted, as per Air Force Command’s official Telegram account. In November, Russia launched a major drone attack with 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones, followed by another 48 Shaheds on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence Deputy Chief Vadym Skibitsky had forewarned in November that Russia might deploy a combination of missiles and drones to target Ukrainian infrastructure during the winter. Despite improved Ukrainian defences this winter, Skibitsky cautioned that Russia’s strikes would be more sophisticated than last year’s primitive attacks, CNN reported. (ANI)

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