Kyiv and other major cities in Ukraine, including Lviv, Kharkiv and Odesa, have been hit by a wave of Russian drone and missile strikes overnight, with air raid alerts activated across much of the country in the early hours of Thursday, March 9.
The head of Ukraine’s armed forces said Russia had fired 81 missiles at Ukrainian territory on Thursday morning, including six “kinzhal” hypersonic missiles which its air force cannot intercept.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said the capital experienced a number of explosions that had damaged energy infrastructure and injured several civilians.
Klitschko said that because of emergency power outages after the missile attack, 40% of the capital’s consumers are now without heating.
Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, on Telegram accused Russia of unleashing “almost all types of their air weapons” from Iranian-made drones to “almost all types of cruise missiles.”
Officials in the southern port of Odesa, Lviv in western Ukraine and Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine also reported drone and missile strikes overnight. Elsewhere, in the Dnipro area, a regional official said there was “serious destruction” as a result of the shelling with “energy infrastructure and industrial enterprises” damaged. A number of fatalities were reported in Lviv and Dnipro.
Andrii Sadovyy, Lviv city mayor, said on Telegram that “according to preliminary information, drones and missiles flew in our direction. The enemy is raging” as he likened Russia to a wounded bear in a trap.
“They have not had success at the front for a long time. That is why they choose senseless chaotic shooting all over Ukraine,” he said.
Responding to the attacks, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia will be held to account.
“It’s been a difficult night. A massive rocket attack across the country. Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Dnipro, Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia regions. Attacks on critical infrastructure and residential buildings,” he said on Telegram. “Unfortunately, there are injured and dead.”
He said efforts were underway to restore energy infrastructure that had been damaged in the 81 missile strikes that the president and Ukraine’s military said had been targeted at Ukraine.
“The enemy fired 81 missiles in an attempt to intimidate Ukrainians again, returning to their miserable tactics. The occupiers can only terrorize civilians. That’s all they can do. But it won’t help them. They won’t avoid responsibility for everything they have done,” Zelenskyy said.
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81 missiles and 8 drones were fired at #Ukraine
⚡ At night, the enemy launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine's critical infrastructure
russian missiles hit a power plant in #Kyiv and also hit civilian buildings in other cities#UkraineWar #StopRussia pic.twitter.com/1Lmd6cxKG4
— Katya 🇺🇦 (@blue_eyedKeti) March 9, 2023
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has described the overnight strikes on Ukraine as without military purpose and “just Russian barbarism”. In a tweet he said:
“Russia launched a massive missile and drone attack on Ukraine overnight, leading to loss of lives and damaging… https://t.co/UWbkWVSSRO pic.twitter.com/ETL2NFPdi3
— Yasmina (@yasminalombaert) March 9, 2023
— Caliber.Az English (@CaliberEnglish) March 9, 2023