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Russia launches 122 missiles and 36 drones in what Ukraine calls the largest air interception of the war


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia launched 122 missiles and 36 drones at targets in Ukraine, officials said Friday, killing at least 18 civilians in the country in what an Air Force official said was the largest attack to date an air raid. 22 months of war.

Ukrainian Chief of Military Staff Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that the Ukrainian Air Force intercepted 87 missiles and 27 Shahid drones overnight.

“The largest air strike since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022,” Air Force Commander Mykola Oreshchuk wrote on his official Telegram channel.

According to the Ukrainian Air Force, the previous largest attack occurred in November 2022, when Russia launched 96 missiles into Ukraine. Air Force records show that the largest launch this year was 81 missiles launched on March 9.

Frontline fighting hampered in large part by winter weather Ukrainian summer counteroffensive A major breakthrough was not achieved along the approximately 1,000 km (620 mi) contact line.

Ukrainian officials urged the country’s Western allies to provide them with more air defense systems to protect themselves from Friday’s airstrikes. Their appeal comes amid signs that war fatigue Work hard to keep support in place.

Western officials and analysts have warned that Russia has limited cruise missile strikes in recent months in an apparent effort to build up stockpiles for large-scale attacks in the winter, hoping to destroy Ukrainian morale.

Ukrainian officials said at least 86 and an unknown number of people were wounded in the roughly 18-hour attack. Damaged buildings across Ukraine reportedly included maternity hospitals, apartment buildings and schools.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Kremlin’s forces used a variety of weapons, including ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

“Today, Russia used almost every type of weapon in its arsenal,” Zelensky said on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

Ukrainian Air Force flanker Yuri Inat said Russia “obviously fired everything they had” in the attack, except for submarine-launched Kalibr missiles.

The airstrikes that began on Thursday and continued into the night hit six cities, including the capital Kiev, and other areas of Ukraine from east to west and north to south, according to authorities.

Reports of death and damage came from across the country.

In Odessa on the south coast, the wreckage of a fallen drone sparked a fire in a multi-storey residential building, according to regional chief Ole Kiper. The Odessa crash killed two people and injured 15 others, including two children who were attacked, he said.

Andrii Sadovyi, mayor of the western city of Lviv, said a drone attack in the area killed one person, injured eight others and damaged three schools and a kindergarten.

Serhii Poplo, the head of the Kiev Military Administration, said that dozens of missiles were fired at Kiev at night, and more than 30 of them were intercepted. The attack caused a fire at a warehouse in the capital’s Podil district, from which five people were reportedly rescued. rubble.

In northeastern Ukraine, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the city suffered at least three waves of air strikes overnight, including the launch of S-300 and Kh-21 missiles. Officials said one person was killed and at least nine others were injured.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/Russia-ukraine



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