New barrage of Russian strikes in Ukraine kills at least 11

By HANNA ARHIROVA and SAMYA KULLAB

Associated Press

Published: 01-26-2023 8:03 PM

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian forces fired another rash of missiles and self-exploding drones in nearly a dozen provinces of Ukraine early Thursday, causing the first attack-related death of the year in Kyiv and killing at least 11 people in all, according to Ukrainian authorities.

The attacks adhered to Russia’s recent pattern of striking power plants and other critical infrastructure about every two weeks. However, the latest onslaught came after Germany and the United States upped the ante in Russia’s 11-month war by promising Wednesday to send high-tech battle tanks to Ukraine and green-lighting other allies to do the same.

The spokesperson for Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, said that in addition to the dead the casualties included at least 11 people who were wounded .

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person was killed during the attacks, the city’s first such death since New Year’s Eve. Two others were injured, he said. The head of the Kyiv city administration, Serhii Popko, said Ukrainian air defenses shot down 15 cruise missiles heading to the area.

The regional prosecutor’s office in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia province said three people were killed and seven injured in a strike on an energy facility. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, said Thursday’s volley involved a total of 55 missiles, of which 47 were intercepted.

Self-exploding drones swept in overnight before the missile strikes. As air raid sirens echoed across the country, civilians — some tugging pet dogs on leashes — poured into subway stations, underground parking lots and basements to seek shelter.

It was the first such barrage of Russian firepower across the country since Jan. 14.

Russia has carried out massive strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities since early October, part of a strategy to try to hamper Ukrainian forces and to keep civilians in the cold and dark this winter before what many experts predict could be a springtime offensive as more conscripts reach the battlefields.

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Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko acknowledged that some sites were hit, resulting in emergency power outages.

In Kyiv’s southern Holosiivsky district, Arkadii Kuritsyn, 53, said he heard a loud explosion that blew out windows of several trucks parked next to his scrap metal business and snapped several trees in a nearby wooded area in half.

But the strikes did not reach what appeared to be the intended target: a nearby district power plant. The industrial area has witnessed several missile attacks already, due to its proximity to the power station, said Andrii Tarasenko, 36, who works in a factory nearby.

“I am not surprised it was targeted again,” he said. “We’ve gotten used to it.”

In Hlevakha, an urban area about 22 miles southwest of the capital, a barrage of missiles followed a drone attack that damaged the two-story home of Halyna Panasian. The damage included a deep crater in the courtyard, a large hole in the roof and pieces of debris scattered about the house.

“I was in my bedroom when the house was hit. I had to crawl out through the destroyed walls,” Panasian, 59, said of the blast at about 2 a.m. “Such grief: What can I say? How can I have a happy life now? I can’t. I’m so sad. My life is broken.”

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