Russia fired a second wave of missiles into Ukraine on Saturday, forcing people to take cover as sirens wailed across the country just hours after early morning airstrikes hit critical infrastructure in Kiev and the northern city of Kharkiv. East of the country.
Officials in Mykolaiv, the western city of Lviv and the Black Sea port of Odesa said air defenses were trying to shoot down missiles. Explosions were heard in the central Vynnytsa region, Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne reported.
Moscow, which invaded Ukraine last February, has been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missiles and drones since October, causing blackouts and disruptions to heating plants and water supplies.
The second attack on Saturday came hours after Reuters journalists heard a series of explosions in Kiev in the morning, even before the highly unusual air raid siren sounded. The extent of any damage or casualties in the second wave was still unclear.
No one was hurt after the first wave, but missile debris caused a fire and damaged homes outside the capital, officials said.
“An infrastructure facility was hit. No critical damage or fire. All emergency services are working on site. No one is injured,” the government said in a statement.
Ukrenergo, which manages the power grid, said its workers were rushing to fix the damage and the grid was experiencing a power deficit caused by previous attacks, even though it was minus 2 degrees Celsius (°C) in Kiev.
DTEK, the largest private electricity company, has introduced blackout operations in Kiev and the Odesa region.
Kiev’s mayor said debris from a missile landed in a non-residential area in Holosiivskiy district in the west of the city, causing a fire but not injuring anyone.
Residential infrastructure was also hit in the village of Kopyliv, in the region close to the capital. The windows and roofs of 18 private houses were broken or damaged by the blast, said Oleksiy Kuleba, the regional governor.
Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said Russia’s missiles were likely fired along a high, circular ballistic trajectory from the north, which would explain why the air raid siren did not sound.
Ukraine is not capable of identifying and shooting down ballistic missiles, he told online channel Ukrainska Pravda.
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Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News