Russia battered Ukraine with a “massive rocket attack” of missile strikes that hit critical infrastructure and residential buildings across the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
“It’s been a difficult night. A massive rocket attack across the country. … Attacks on critical infrastructure and residential buildings,” Zelensky said in a Telegram post.
“The enemy fired 81 missiles in an attempt to intimidate Ukrainians again, returning to their miserable tactics. The occupiers can only terrorize civilians,” he added.
The Ukrainian president said attacks targeted several regions throughout Ukraine, including Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia — which houses Europe’s largest nuclear power plant — and the capital city of Kyiv. Some people were injured and killed in the strikes, Zelensky said.
Zelensky and other top Kyiv officials quickly turned attention to protecting the country’s energy infrastructure and restoring power to affected areas.
“Despite thousands of Russian attacks, we will all together ensure the invincibility of Ukraine. We are working. We will win!” the president said.
Ukraine’s chief commander of the armed forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said Russia shot 81 missiles and eight Shahed drones into Ukraine on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
The onslaught of strikes comes as Ukraine defends the embattled town of Bakhmut. Reuters reported that Russia’s defense ministry said it carried out the new strikes in retaliation for an alleged raid last week on a village in the Bryansk region of Russia last week.
“Russia launched a massive missile and drone attack on Ukraine overnight, leading to loss of lives and damaging civilian infrastructure. No military objective, just Russian barbarism,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
“The day will come when [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his associates are held accountable by a Special Tribunal,” Kuleba said.