Kyiv – Russian missile strikes targeted several Ukrainian cities overnight including the capital Kyiv, officials said Friday.
At least five people were killed in strikes that hit the central cities of Dnipro and Uman.
While Russia regularly bombed Ukrainian cities and infrastructure last winter, the massive strikes had tailed off in recent months. Kyiv had not been targeted by missiles in more than 50 days.
Most fighting is now taking place in the east for control of the industrial Donbas region, particularly the city of Bakhmut, which has been almost completely destroyed.
Missiles “killed civilians again in the city of Dnipro”, city mayor Borys Filatov said Friday on Telegram, adding: “A young woman and a three-year-old child died.”
Air defense systems were also activated in Kyiv, according to local officials.
“After a pause of 51 days, the enemy launched another missile attack on Kyiv,” said local air defense forces head Sergey Popko, according to the city administration.
“According to preliminary data, 11 cruise missiles were destroyed in Kyiv airspace. In addition to the missiles, two drones were shot down.”
No casualties or damage to buildings were reported.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian government to begin work on creating museums dedicated to Moscow’s ongoing offensive in Ukraine, according to instructions published on the Kremlin website.
The new regional and municipal museums should be “dedicated to the events of the special military operation and the exploits of its participants”, according to the official document, dated Wednesday but appearing on the Kremlin website on Thursday.
The “special military operation” is Russia’s name for its attack on Ukraine, launched in February 2022.
As part of the museums initiative, Putin said the relevant authorities should consider how to transfer “artifacts related to the special military operation” so that they can go on display.
The government should also consider “organizing study of the history of the special military operation” within the education system, he added.
Russia’s past military exploits, especially in World War II, are already the subject of countless museums, exhibitions, and monuments.
Since the start of its offensive in Ukraine, Russia has passed a series of laws designed to muzzle any criticism, including a law punishing the “discrediting” of the army and its actions.
Several people, both political opponents and ordinary citizens, have received heavy prison sentences under the new laws.
Russia has also increased social assistance to combatants and their families and introduced special courses in schools to promote the government’s line in the conflict.
Moscow recently launched a military recruitment campaign on the streets and on social networks. AFP
A new law was passed in just two days to facilitate a new mobilization in the army.
Ukraine’s air defense system has been bolstered in recent months by the delivery of Western equipment crucial to the country’s war effort.
In particular, Kyiv received the sophisticated American Patriot systems in April.
While it has not faced missile barrages since early March, the capital was the target last week of an attack by 12 Iranian-made drones, eight of which were shot down without causing any casualties.
In Uman, a central city of 80,000 inhabitants, a video broadcast by Ukrainian media showed a gutted apartment building, with rubble strewn around it.
“An enemy missile hit a residential building. Information about the victims is being clarified,” Zoya Vovk, spokesperson for the regional police, said on Telegram.
According to regional governor Igor Tabourets, Uman was hit by two cruise missiles, with one hitting a residential building and the other a warehouse.
“As of 7:00 am, three people were killed and 8 were injured,” said Minister of Internal Affairs Igor Klymenko, referring to the attack in Uman.
Ukraine and Russia have been fighting since Moscow’s February 2022 invasion.
Ukraine says it has been preparing for months a counter-offensive aimed at repelling Russian forces from the territory they currently hold in the east and south.