Early Monday, Russia launched its second large salvo of missiles at Ukraine, causing damage to buildings and injuring at least 34 people in Pavlohrad, a city in the eastern region.
Fortunately, the missiles failed to hit Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The air raid sirens began blaring in Kyiv at around 3:45 a.m., and the Ukrainian defense systems intercepted 15 of the 18 cruise missiles fired from the Murmansk region and the Caspian region, according to Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv’s city administration, stated that all the missiles fired at the city were shot down, along with some drones. However, he did not provide further details and said more information would be available later.
On Friday, more than 20 cruise missiles and two explosive drones were launched at Ukraine, which was the first attack to target Kyiv in almost two months. The Russian missiles hit an apartment building in Uman, a city located about 215 kilometers (135 miles) south of Kyiv, killing 21 people, including three children.
In the latest attack on Monday, missiles hit Pavlohrad, causing damage to an industrial facility and a residential neighborhood, where 19 apartment buildings, 25 homes, six schools, and five shops were damaged.
The attack also damaged the power network infrastructure, leaving nearly 20,000 people in the city of Kherson and wider regions without power, according to Energy Minister Herman Haluschenko.
Ukraine has recently received American-made Patriot missiles to improve its anti-missile defenses, but it is not clear if they were employed to stop Monday’s attack.
Ukraine has been building up its mechanized brigades with armor supplied by its Western allies, who have also been training Ukrainian troops and sending ammunition as Kyiv prepares for an expected counteroffensive this spring.
The fiercest battles have been in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russia is trying to encircle the city of Bakhmut.
Troops from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group and other forces are fighting Ukrainian troops house-to-house to try to gain control of what has become known as the “road of life,” which is the last remaining road west still in Ukrainian hands, making it critical for supplies and fresh troops.
Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, the head of Ukrainian ground forces, stated in an interview released on Monday that Russia continues to exert “maximum effort” to take the city, but so far has failed.