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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Russia fires dozens of rockets into Ukrainian cities.

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Cities across Ukraine have been targeted by a wave of Russian missile attacks in one of the most prominent bombings since the war began. Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said at least three people, including a 14-year-old girl, were hospitalized after the explosion in the capital Kyiv. Explosions were also heard in Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv, and Zhytomyr. The Ukrainian military said 69 missiles were launched, 54 of which were intercepted by air defenses. Earlier, presidential aide Mihailo Podoljak said more than 120 rockets had been fired at civilian infrastructure. The airstrike lasted almost five hours, and the regional leader of the southern Odesa province, Maksim Marchenko, spoke of a “massive missile strike against Ukraine.” The Ukrainian Air Force said Russia had attacked the country “from different directions with air and sea-launched cruise missiles.” He added that numerous kamikaze drones were also used.

Brigadier General Aleksey Gromov said in an update to the operation that the attacks targeted energy infrastructure across the country. His two homes in Kyiv were damaged by intercepted missile debris, according to military officials in Kyiv. Klitschko said the city’s air defenses destroyed 16 missiles. In the southern region of Mykolaiv, Governor Vitaly Kim wrote that anti-aircraft defenses had intercepted five missiles. At the same time, Mayor Andriy Sadvi said several explosions were reported in the western city of Lviv. Marchenko said Ukrainian forces in the Odesa region shot down 21 rockets. He added that debris from the missile hit the apartment building, but no casualties were reported. Also in the western village of the Ivano-Frankivsk region, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky said a rocket hit a resident’s house but did not explode. The BBC cannot independently verify the reports. Polyak called the attack “evil” and accused Moscow of trying to “destroy critical infrastructure and kill civilians en masse.” Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Kharushchenko said power plants were damaged in the recent strikes and said the situation in the Odesa and Kyiv regions was “difficult”.

On Thursday, the Lviv mayor said 90% of his city had no electricity, and Klitschko noted 40% of Kyiv remained without electricity. Power outages were also reported in the Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Oleksandr Wirkul, the military governor of the central city of Kriviri, said the missiles fired at his city were launched by Russian “ships and planes from the Black Sea”. Electricity in the city had been turned off “as a precaution”, he added. Ukraine’s Southern Command has warned that Russian forces are preparing to launch up to 20 missiles from positions in the Black Sea. Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians with rocket attacks. However, President Vladimir Putin recently admitted that Russian forces had attacked key Ukrainian energy installations. “The defense industry cannot produce enough to carry out missile strikes on too many countries in the world,” he said. Earlier this month, a senior US official told Reuters that in recent weeks Moscow has been forced to use decades-old ammunition with a high failure rate.

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