Missiles hit Ukraine after West’s offer of tanks

Russia launched a wave of missiles at Ukraine on Thursday, a day after Ger­many and the US pledged tanks to aid Kyiv’s fight against the invasion.

Eleven people died and 11 others were injured after 35 buildings were struck across several regions, the state’s emergency service said.

It added the worst damage to residential buildings was in the Kyiv region.

Officials also reported strikes on two energy facilities in the Odesa region.

The barrage came as Russia said it perceived the new offer of mili­tary support, which followed a UK pledge to send Challenger 2 battle tanks, as “direct” Western involve­ment in the conflict.

In what was a sustained and wide-ranging attack, the head of the Ukrainian army said Moscow launched 55 air and sea-based mis­siles on Thursday.

Valery Zaluzhny added that 47 of them were shot down, including 20 around Kyiv.

Earlier, Ukraine’s air force said it had downed a cluster of Irani­an-made attack drones launched by Russian forces from the Sea of Azov in the south of the country.

A 55-year-old man was killed and two others wounded when non-res­idential buildings in the south of the capital were struck, officials reported.

The offensive was a continuation of Russia’s months-long tactic of targeting Ukraine’s infrastructure. The freezing winter has seen power stations destroyed and millions plunged into darkness.

After Thursday’s strikes, emer­gency power cuts were enforced in Kyiv and several other regions to relieve pressure on the electricity grid, said DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power producer. —BBC

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