In a midnight assault by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, at least ten people have perished, including a young mother and her infant.
In the first attack against the city in nearly two months, air raid sirens went off last night throughout Kyiv.
According to Kyiv’s administration, the air force of Ukraine intercepted 11 cruise missiles, as well as two unmanned aerial vehicles.
Power lines and a road in one neighborhood were destroyed by missile and drone fragments.
In Dnipro, a young woman and her three-year-old child were killed in a separate overnight attack, according to the city’s mayor Borys Filatov.
Two cruise missiles also hit an apartment building and storage facilities in Uman, around 215 kilometres south of Kyiv.
Three people were killed and five people were wounded, authorities say.
‘My daughter’s classmate lived on the ninth floor of the destroyed apartment block. I don’t know. Praise God they’re alive,’ said Olha, a resident of the apartment block.
Footage from the overnight attack shows smoke pouring from residential buildings that caught fire.
Multiple casualties were reported across Uman following the onslaufht, including a 70-year-old woman who is being treated.
Ukrainian sources suggested some of the attacks involved conventional missiles launched by Russia’s Tu-95 strategic nuclear aircraft from the Caspian Sea region.
Russia immediately claimed that the hits on residential buildings were from ‘cack-handed’ Ukrainian air defences.
Kremenchuk and Poltava in central Ukraine were also hit, and Mykolaiv in the south.
The attacks come as Ukrainian forces are expected to soon launch an offensive with new military equipment, including tanks, from its Western allies after Russian forces made little headway in a winter offensive.
Chinese President Xi Jinping this week told Ukrainian President Zelensky that China will send a special representative to Ukraine.
China has tried to appear neutral in the war but refused to criticize Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Xi talked Wednesday with Volodymyr Zelenskyy by phone, state media reported, in a long-awaited move after Beijing said it wanted to act as peace mediator in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
‘I had a long and meaningful phone call with President Xi Jinping,’ Zelensky tweeted following the chat.
‘I believe that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine’s ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations.’