Ukraine finds itself facing the grim aftermath of successive Russian missile attacks on its capital, Kyiv, and the eastern city of Kharkiv.
The toll stands at four dead and dozens injured, with residential areas bearing the brunt of the assault.
This comes in the wake of a Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian city of Belgorod, prompting a swift and devastating retaliation from Moscow.
Early this morning, the Ukrainian capital experienced a series of more than ten powerful explosions, shaking buildings and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
According to the military administration in Kyiv, the attacks targeted not only the heart of the city but also Kharkiv and other urban centres, claiming the lives of three individuals in Kyiv and one in Kharkiv.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko reported that an elderly woman succumbed to her wounds in an ambulance en route to the hospital. At the same time, a couple lost their lives in the Kyiv region.
In Kharkiv, one more victim was reported, emphasizing the devastating human cost of the conflict.
The strikes caused widespread damage, with debris from downed missiles falling into various neighbourhoods, including residential areas.
Emergency services scrambled to respond to the crisis, as falling debris ignited a fire in Kyiv’s densely populated Desnyansky district.
The Air Force of Ukraine had issued a warning on the Telegram social network just before the strikes, alerting the population to the imminent danger.
Despite the preparation, the power transmission network in the Kyiv region suffered severe damage, leaving more than 250,000 people without electricity, as confirmed by Ukrenergo.
The attacks on Kyiv and Kharkiv occurred mere hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed revenge for the Ukrainian assault on Belgorod.
Ukrainian air defenses managed to repel a drone attack, but the retaliatory missile strikes inflicted heavy casualties and disrupted essential services.
Kyiv Mayor Klitschko clarified that the loud explosions resulted from air defence systems engaging the attackers.
The emergency response teams quickly mobilized to address the unfolding crisis, with scenes of chaos and panic unfolding in the wake of the strikes.
The Desnyansky district, situated on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River and Kyiv’s most populated area, bore the brunt of the damage.
Falling debris from a downed Russian drone ignited fires, compounding the challenges faced by emergency services already stretched thin.
Emergency services were also dispatched to the Holoseev district on the west bank of the Dnieper, though there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in that area.
The situation remains fluid as responders work to assess the full extent of the impact on both residential and commercial areas.
Kharkiv, too, faced the wrath of a “large-scale rocket attack,” as reported by Mayor Igor Terekhov.
The city, home to a significant population, now grapples with the aftermath of the strikes, with emergency services working tirelessly to provide aid and assistance to those affected.
This recent escalation follows a New Year’s Eve onslaught where the Russian Federation launched 28 Iranian Shahed drones against Odesa.
The attack came in the aftermath of Russia’s largest-ever airstrike against Ukraine, which claimed the lives of at least 39 people and further intensified the ongoing conflict between the two nations.
As the international community watches in horror, the people of Ukraine find themselves caught in the crossfire, grappling with the harsh realities of a conflict that shows no signs of abating.
The repercussions of these attacks extend far beyond the immediate casualties, affecting the very fabric of Ukrainian society and leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s history.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members