Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Russia launches ‘massive’ aerial attack on Ukraine

- Agencies letters@hindustant­imes.com

Russia on Thursday launched a “massive” aerial attack on Ukraine, Kyiv said, hitting the northeaste­rn city of Kharkiv again and targeting energy facilities across the country. Russia has launched some of the biggest air campaigns on Ukraine in recent weeks, more than two years into its invasion.

Moscow has heavily attacked Ukraine’s energy facilities, reviving a tactic it used through last winter on a country exhausted by war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia fired more than 40 missiles and 40 drones at sites in central, eastern and western Ukraine, including the Kyiv region.

Zelensky said Moscow was hitting “critical infrastruc­ture”, with various regions reporting that power stations and gas distributi­on centres had been targeted. The Ukrainian leader also condemned another “vile missile attack” on Kharkiv, a day after three people were killed in the northeaste­rn city, pounded by Moscow in recent months.

“Russian terrorists once again targeted critical infrastruc­ture,” Zelensky said, adding that not all the missiles had been shot down.

In the Kyiv region, a power station was set on fire. Authoritie­s urged locals to close their windows. The southern Zaporizhzh­ia and Odesa regions and the western region of Lviv were also hit, officials said.

Zelensky urged Ukraine’s Western partners not to “turn a blind eye” to what was happening and to provide Kyiv with more air defence systems.

The Russian defence ministry said on Thursday it hit fuel and energy complex facilities in Ukraine with a “massive” retaliator­y strike using high-precision, long-range weapons from air and sea as well as drones overnight.

The strikes were in response to Ukrainian efforts to damage Russia’s oil and gas industry and energy facilities, it said.

4 killed in Mykolaiv

A Russian missile attack on Ukraine’s southern city of Mykolaiv on Thursday killed at least four people and injured five more, officials said.

“The enemy continues ballistic strikes on the south of Ukraine. Insidiousl­y struck Mykolaiv in the middle of the day,” southern military command said on Telegram. Private houses, cars and industrial facilities were damaged, it added.

Army draft rules overhauled

Ukraine’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday to overhaul how the armed forces draft civilians into the ranks after a general told the chamber that Russian forces outnumbere­d Kyiv’s troops up to ten times on the battlefiel­d in the east.

Two years into a war against Russia, a country with three times its population, Ukraine has been suffering setbacks on the battlefiel­d. Tens of thousands of soldiers have been killed, many times more have been wounded and hundreds of thousands have now fought for two years with no respite.

Martial law lets draft officers call up men over 27 to fight, and a separate measure signed into law last week by President Volodymyr Zelensky made thousands more men susceptibl­e by lowering that minimum age to 25.

The new measures should increase troop numbers by requiring men to update their draft data with the authoritie­s, boosting payments to those who volunteer, and letting some convicts serve.

 ?? AFP ?? Smoke rising over a building following a Russian missile attack in Lyptsi, Kharkiv region.
AFP Smoke rising over a building following a Russian missile attack in Lyptsi, Kharkiv region.

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