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KYIV – Russia has launched a massive missile campaign across Ukraine and is building up troops near the northeastern city of Kupyansk to test Ukrainian defenses, just as Kiev warns Moscow is preparing to launch a new offensive.
Ukraine’s army commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny said in a statement that two caliber cruise missiles entered the airspace of Moldova and NATO member Romania before entering Ukrainian territory. Romania, however, cautioned that radar only detected a missile fired from a Russian ship in the Black Sea close to its airspace – about 35 kilometers away – but not inside its territory.
“At approximately 10:33 p.m., these missiles crossed Romanian airspace. They then re-entered Ukrainian airspace at the three-state border crossing point. The missiles were launched from the Black Sea,” Zalujhani said.
The governors of Kharkiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Khmelnytskyi reported power outages due to the barrage.
According to Governor Oleg Sinegubov, the attack began before dawn in the eastern part of Kharkiv.
“Today, at 4:00 a.m., about 12 rockets hit key infrastructure facilities in Kharkiv and the region. Currently, emergency and static lighting shutdowns are being employed. About 150,000 people in Kharkiv remain without electricity,” Sinegubov said.
The barrage came the same morning as Russian offensive forces stepped up their offensive near Kupyansk, a town in the Kharkiv region that was liberated by Ukrainian forces last fall, Sinegubov said. “The enemy has increased their presence on the front lines and is probing our defense lines for weak points. Our defenders reliably hold their positions and are ready for any possible move by the enemy,” Sinegubov said in a statement.
He also reported that about seven people were injured in the latest Russian missile attack on Kharkiv. Two of the injured are in critical condition.
Meanwhile, to the west of the country, Ukrainian air defense units are returning fire to multiple cruise missile attacks. “This is Russia’s revenge that the whole world supports us,” Khmelnytskyi Governor Serhii Hamali said in a statement. He also reported a missile attack on the city, saying that parts of Khmelnytskyi were without electricity.
The Ukrainian Air Force Command reported the destruction of five Russian-launched cruise missiles and seven Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones from the coast of the Sea of Azov. The Russians also launched six Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles from a Russian frigate in the Black Sea.
“The occupiers have also launched a massive offensive with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from Belgorod (Russia) and Tokmak (occupied territory of Zaporizhia region) districts,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Up to 35 anti-aircraft guided missiles (S-300) were launched in the Kharkiv and Zaporizhia regions, which cannot be destroyed in the air by air defenses. A cruise missile was fired from a Tu-95 MS strategic bomber around 8:30 am.”