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Dhaka Tribune

Russia stages major airstrike on Ukraine; one missile enters Polish airspace

Moscow launched 57 missiles and drones in the attack that also targeted the capital Kyiv

Update : 24 Mar 2024, 10:20 PM

Russia struck critical infrastructure in Ukraine's western region of Lviv with missiles on Sunday, Kyiv said, in a major airstrike that saw one Russian cruise missile briefly fly into Polish airspace according to Warsaw.

Moscow launched 57 missiles and drones in the attack that also targeted the capital Kyiv, two days after the largest aerial bombardment of Ukraine's energy system in more than two years of full-scale war, Kyiv said.

"There were two preliminary hits on the same critical infrastructure facility that the occupiers targeted at night," Lviv's regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

The strike used Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, which are harder to shoot down, he added, without identifying the facility.

The energy ministry said equipment caught fire when a critical energy facility in the Lviv region was attacked, causing it to lose power. It was unclear if they were talking about the same facility.

Air defences destroyed 18 of 29 inbound missiles and 25 of 28 attack drones, the air force said. There were almost no details about what had been damaged, but the targeting of critical infrastructure could indicate Russia is trying to keep up pressure on the energy system after its strikes caused widespread blackouts on Friday.

The energy ministry said Ukraine, which has been exporting power in recent weeks, had sharply increased imports of electricity and stopped exports on Sunday after attacks on the energy system.

Several explosions rang out in Kyiv in the early hours as air defences destroyed about a dozen missiles over the capital and its vicinity, said Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv's military administration.

Small groups of people huddled for safety underground in a central Kyiv metro station in the early hours, some of them sleeping on camping mats.

Moscow has been pounding Ukraine for days in attacks portrayed by Moscow as revenge for Ukrainian attacks that were conducted during Russia's presidential election.

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