Russia launched a massive drone attack early Friday, hitting critical infrastructure in the western and southern part of Ukraine. Private houses and commercial buildings were destroyed in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, officials said, quoted by Reuters.
The Air Force said it shot down 24 Shahed drones out of 40 launched by Russia. the biggest drone attack in weeks, targeting Kharkiv in the northeast, Odessa and Kherson in the south, and the Lviv region on Ukraine’s border with Poland in the west.
One X-59 missile was also shot down, the Air Force said.
“As winter approaches, Russian terrorists will try to do more damage. We will respond to the enemy,” the president said Volodymyr Zelensky about the attack, adding that air defenses were active in 10 different regions.
Officials say Ukraine is preparing for second winter of Russian airstrikes on the energy systemwhich they warn is more vulnerable than last year because it has less excess capacity and little spare equipment.
The Air Force said the drones were launched in several waves and flew to different regions in small groups. The air alert in some regions continued for several hours during the night.
Maxim Kozytskyi, the governor of Lviv, said an infrastructure facility was hit five times during the attacks on his region, but did not give details of the damage. He reported that no casualties.
A military target was hit in and near the Ivano-Frankivsk regionsaid Governor Svetlana Onishtuk.
The regional governor of Odesa, Oleg Kiper, reported on strike on an infrastructure site in the southern region.
Oleg Sinegubov, governor of Kharkiv, said that drones have hit civilian infrastructure and caused fires in and near the city of Kharkiv. He said eight people, including two children, needed medical attention due to stress.
Interior Minister Igor Klimenko said eight private houses, a three-story building, several cars and a garage were damaged during the attack on Kharkiv.
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An air alert has been declared in almost all of Ukraine