Ukraine updates: Russia launches large-scale air assault

Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine as authorities report an ongoing "massive missile attack" on several cities

Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were instructed to take shelter on Monday morning, including in this subway station. (photo: DW)
Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were instructed to take shelter on Monday morning, including in this subway station. (photo: DW)
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Russia launches massive missile assault across Ukraine

Several Ukrainian cities were targeted by the Russian Air Force in a large-scale missile attack on Monday morning, 8 January the Ukrainian military said. 

The Ukrainian Air Force posted a warning reading: "Kyiv – shelter!" on the Telegram messaging app, saying the capital was under threat of ballistic missile strikes.

Military officials in Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv and Khmelnytskyi also said their cities were under a "massive missile attack" while there were reports of explosions in the south-eastern city of Dnipro.

Germany's dpa news agency, citing local observers, reported that cruise missiles – including hypersonic Kinzhal missiles – being launched from at least a dozen strategic bomber aircraft.

Air raid alerts were in place across the entire country.

Rescue efforts ongoing in Pokrovsk after Russian assault Saturday

Rescuers are continuing their search for victims in the eastern Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk after a Russian air attack on Saturday left at least 11 dead, including five children.

In the nearby village of Rivne, just outside Pokrovsk, a repurposed Russian S-300 air defense missile struck the house of a family of six, according to Ukrainian reports.

In his evening television address on Sunday, 7 January President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked rescue workers, while Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said rescue efforts would continue.

"The force of the enemy attack was too strong, so this work will take time," he said.


Belgorod residents evacuated amid artillery strikes

Approximately 300 people have now been evacuated from the Russian city of Belgorod close to the Ukrainian border, according to regional officials.

The Russian border town has come under increasing attack from Ukrainian artillery over the past week, with at least 25 people killed and a further 100 injured on 30 December.

That is reported to be the highest death toll from a single attack on a Russian city since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

"Around 300 residents of Belgorod who have decided to be temporarily evacuated are now being housed in shelters in Stary Oskol, Gubkin and the Korochansky district," which are further from the border, Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a video posted on Telegram.

Russia 'viciously attacking peaceful cities' – Ukrainian official

Ukrainian authorities have reported initial casualties sustained during a large-scale Russian missile attack on Monday morning.

At least one woman was injured in Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv , when industrial facilities were hit, resulting in a fire, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on the Telegram messaging app.

Officials from the southeastern Zaporizhzhia city council said that at least five blasts had resulted in at least two injuries. "Missiles hit residential areas," regional governor Yuriy Malaskho said on Telegram.

Military officials in other cities, including Dnipro and Khmelnytskyi, have also said their cities were under a "massive missile attack" by Russia while air raid sirens sounded in the capital, Kyiv.

"The enemy is viciously attacking peaceful cities," said Oleksandr Vilkul, mayor of the southern Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, hometown of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Nearly two years into the war that Russia started with a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, both sides are struggling to make significant gains on the frontlines in the east and southeast of Ukraine and have shifted to increased air strikes against each other's territories.

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Published: 08 Jan 2024, 2:09 PM
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