Russia has launched dozens of drone attacks and fired shells and missiles against civilian infrastructure, Ukraine reports.
Kyiv said two dozen Russian drones and a missile were downed overnight as concern grows that Moscow is once again targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ahead of winter. Officials in Kharkiv reported civilian targets were hit by shelling and drone attacks.
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The General Staff of Ukraine’s military said Russian drones targeted several areas across Ukraine and were launched from Russia’s Kursk region and the Primorsk-Akhtarsk area.
“As a result of combat operations, in cooperation with the defence forces of Ukraine, 24 attack bpla ‘Shahed-136/131’ [drones] and one controlled aviation missile were destroyed,” the statement said, using the acronym for “bezpilotniy letayuschiy apparat”, or “pilotless flying equipment”.
Police in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine reported that at least 10 Russian drones hit civilian infrastructure and triggered multiple fires in the city and shelling also damaged buildings.
“As a result of the drone strikes, a local school was attacked, causing a fire that destroyed the roof and two of the building’s floors. A residential building, a service station and an administrative building were also on fire due to shelling,” the police officials added.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the fires were being brought under control.
While no casualties have been reported so far, Kharkiv police officials said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app that doctors have diagnosed three residents with “an acute reaction to stress”.
The overnight raids are part of a recent rise in Russian attacks. More than 100 settlements in eastern Ukraine, including Kharkiv, were targeted on Wednesday, the heaviest day of shelling so far in 2023.
Local authorities in Kharkiv said overnight shelling in the city on Wednesday killed one person.
Ukraine and its partners in the West worry that Russia could try to replicate a strategy it followed last winter, squeezing Ukraine by targeting energy infrastructure as temperatures fall.
Last winter, Russia repeatedly attacked civilian infrastructure far from the front lines, leaving millions of Ukrainians without power, heat and water for days at a time.
“We are strengthening air defence and mobile fire groups,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on the social media platform X.
Russia fired about forty "Shahed" drones at quiet Ukrainian towns and cities during the course of the night.
Our aircraft, air defense, and mobile fire groups worked hard in ten regions of Ukraine, from east and south to the west.
I thank our warriors for every kill! More… pic.twitter.com/XK0Ismogqy
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 3, 2023
“As winter approaches, Russian terrorists will try to cause more harm. We will be fighting back,” he said.