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Ukrainian officials say at least 12 people died in a massive Russian air attack on the night of Dec. 28-29, combining hypersonic and other missiles with drones to strike military and civilian targets across the country, including the capital, Kiev, in what appears to be the heaviest bombardment of the 22-month invasion.

Air defenses are mobilized but victims are numerous reported in kyiv, Lviv, Odessa and other major cities, with search and rescue efforts continuing.

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President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia had used “almost every type of weapon in its arsenal.”

He said that kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhya were among the cities target.

Zelenskiy cited “deaths and injuries” and also reiterated earlier reports that “a maternity ward, educational institutions (and) a shopping center” were among the affected objects, in addition to apartment buildings and other private houses.

“Today, Russia has used almost all types of weapons in its arsenal: Kindzhals, S-300s, cruise missiles and drones. Strategic bombers have launched X-101/X missiles -505,” he said. said on X, formerly Twitter. “In total, around 110 missiles were fired against Ukraine, the majority of which were shot down.”

The Ukrainian Air Force command later increased that figure, saying its forces had shot down 114 of 158 missiles or drones.

RFE/RL could not independently confirm details of the attacks, but explosions rocked several major cities and debris fell from the sky in many places.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called it is a massive airstrike targeting social and critical infrastructure.

Ukraine’s armed forces said military sites were also targeted.

An air alert was in effect across the country early on December 29, with the military urging people to seek shelter.

The Energy Ministry later announced that the attacks caused power cuts for residents in four regions in the north and south of the country.

Yuriy Ihnat, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force said Russian attacks included hard-to-intercept hypersonic, cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as drone strikes, adding that Russia “seemingly threw everything it had.”

The Interior Ministry said at least 12 people were killed and 75 others injured in the bombings.

Local authorities said four people were killed and more than a dozen injured when attacks hit a maternity hospital and a shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro. The Health Ministry said another medical facility in Dnipro was also damaged, but patients and staff were out of danger.

At least two people were reported killed and 15 others injured in airstrikes on the southern city of Odessa. The regional governor said the affected objects included residential buildings.

Another person was reported killed in the western city of Lviv and others injured, amid reports from the mayor of explosions underway.

Air defenses were operating in kyiv, according to the capital’s military administration, and debris had fallen on the city.

At least one person was killed and 16 others injured in the capital as first responders tried to put out fires and clear debris to locate victims, according to the city’s deputy head of state administration , Mykola Povoroznyk.

“Search and rescue work is not yet finished,” says Povoroznyk said RFE/RL Ukrainian Service.

Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv said the body of a victim was found in the rubble of a warehouse where at least three other people were also injured.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said three waves of air attacks hit that city overnight, killing one man and wounding at least 11 others.

kyiv and many Western leaders have accused Russia of systematically targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, and U.S. President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” for his actions in Ukraine.

Russia denies targeting civilians, despite extensive media-documented evidence to the contrary.

With reporting from Reuters and AFP


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