Russia fired dozens of missiles at Ukrainian cities Thursday, piercing air defences to kill at least 12 people across the country in the Kremlin’s campaign to punish civilians while its army fights in Ukraine’s east.
The wave of strikes came a day after Germany and the United States pledged to send dozens of battle tanks to Ukraine, a significant step up in Western military support. Ukraine managed to shoot down 47 of the 55 missiles, according to its air force command, including 20 in the area around the capital, Kyiv. But a variety of Russian strikes still killed 11 people across 11 regions, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said. Another 11 people were wounded, and 35 buildings were damaged, it said.A 12th civilian was killed later in the day when a Russian rocket hit a village council building in Kochubeivka, a community in the Kherson region, a military official said on Telegram. As it has for months, Russia appeared to target Ukraine’s energy grid in subfreezing winter weather. Since October, Russia has launched more than a dozen major waves of missiles and drones on Ukraine’s energy facilities, as well as many smaller attacks, in a campaign to impair the power supply the barrages have sometimes come after Ukrainian successes, such as its fall campaigns in the northeast and the south, but have continued as the pace of fighting has slowed to a grueling battle of attrition in the east and south.The missile strikes have often landed in residential areas as well, sometimes to devastating effect, as when more than 40 people were killed in a strike on an apartment building in Dnipro, in central Ukraine.Large booms shook Kyiv about 10 a.m. local time Thursday, sending residents fleeing into subway shelters and basements. The mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said one person had been killed and two wounded when a projectile hit a building in the city’s south.Three people were killed in a Russian strike on infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia, the state prosecutor general’s office said on Telegram. There were also reports of missile strikes in the Vinnytsia region in western Ukraine and outside the port city of Odesa, causing “massive power outages” there, according to Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.