At least three people have been killed and 15 injured in a Russian missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Friday, according to the regional governor, Valentyn Reznichenko.
“The rockets hit an industrial plant and a busy street next to it,” Reznichenko said on his Facebook page. “We are determining the extent of the destruction.”
Ukraine’s air force said several cruise missiles fired from strategic bombers over the Caspian Sea hit a factory at about 10pm (19:00 GMT) in Dnipro, a major city on the Dnieper river. Four incoming missiles were shot down, it said. Videos posted on social media showed plumes of thick black smoke rising from the buildings and cars on fire.
The attack on Dnipro comes a day after a Russian missile strike killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 200 in Vinnytsia, a city southwest of the capital, Kyiv. In recent weeks, Russia has used long-range missiles on crowded buildings in cities far from the front in eastern Ukraine, killing dozens of people on each occasion. It denies targeting civilians.
Russian air raids were also reported elsewhere.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged everyone to heed air-raid sirens and seek cover.
“Right now, as I am writing this address, there is an air alarm over almost the entire territory of our state. There is preliminary information about hits – Dnipro, Kremenchuk, Kyiv region,” Zelenskyy said in a Telegram post.
In his nightly address, he said Russia’s aim was to cause “maximum harm”.
“The occupiers are realising that we are gradually becoming stronger and the purpose of their terror is very simple – to put pressure on us, to put pressure on our society, to intimidate people, to cause maximum harm to Ukrainian cities, at least while the Russian terrorists are still capable of doing it,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation.
The dead in Dnipro included a city bus driver, a local official said on his Facebook page.
“The man had finished his work day and was headed to the depot to go back to work at 5 a.m. tomorrow. He didn’t make it,” Ivan Vasyuchkov wrote.
“Two children have been left without a father. A really young guy, my age, he still had so much time to live. There are simply no words,” he added.