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Air defences shoot down 15 of 18 missiles launched at Ukraine in dead of night

2023.05.01 04:35

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© Reuters. People are seen at the site of a residential area hit by a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine May 1, 2023. Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Regional Military-Civil Administration Se

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By Lidia Kelly

(Reuters) -Ukrainian air defence crews destroyed 15 out of 18 missiles launched by Russian forces in the early hours of Monday morning, the military said, as Moscow intensified attacks on its neighbour in recent days.

“Around 2:30 am (1130 GMT), the Russian invaders attacked Ukraine from strategic aviation planes,” a post on the Telegram channel of Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, read.

It added that 15 out of the 18 missiles launched had been destroyed.

Kyiv’s city officials wrote on the Telegram messaging app that all missiles directed at the capital were destroyed in what they said was the second attack on the city in three days.

“According to (preliminary information), no casualties among the civilian population and no destruction of residential facilities or infrastructure have been recorded,” the city administration said.

Air defence systems were also called into action to shield the Kyiv region, which is a separate administrative entity from the city, from Russian missiles, officials said.

Russia has also launched missiles at other Ukrainian regions overnight, including on Dnipropetrovsk, Mykola Lukashuk, the head of the Dnipro region council, said. Air defence crews shot down seven missiles, but 25 people sought medical help.

The eastern Ukrainian city of Pavlohrad was struck twice overnight, and an industrial enterprise, 19 apartment buildings and 25 private buildings, among others, were damaged or destroyed, he added.

“There were also fires, emergency services are at work,” Lukashuk said.

Vladimir Rogov, an official in the Russian-backed administration of the Zaporizhzhia region, posted late on Sunday what he said were pictures and videos of fires in Pavlohrad and said that Russian forces struck at military targets there.

Russia says some recent strikes are designed to hamper Kyiv’s plans for a long-planned counteroffensive in the east.

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