Ukraine war: Twelve dead as Russian missiles hit cities

Russia has launched a wave of air strikes against cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv, leaving at least 12 people dead, BBC reported.

Ten people including a child were killed in an attack that hit a block of flats in the central city of Uman, officials said.

And a woman and her three-year-old daughter were killed in the city of Dnipro, according to the local mayor.

Explosions were also reported in the cities of Kremenchuk and Poltava.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the apartment block was among 10 residential buildings that were damaged in Uman. The state rescue service said the child killed in the city was born in 2013 and another 11 people needed hospital treatment.

Mr Zelensky said the attacks showed further international action needed to be taken against Russia.

“Evil can be stopped by weapons – our defenders are doing it. And it can be stopped by sanctions – global sanctions must be enhanced,” he said in a tweet.

The head of the Kyiv city military administration said it was the first Russian missile attack on the capital in 51 days.

There are no immediate reports of civilian casualties in the capital.

Twenty-one out of 23 missiles and two attack drones were shot down by Ukraine’s air defence system, officials said in a post on the messaging service Telegram.

A video posted on Telegram by Ukraine’s State Border Service showed a badly damaged apartment building in Uman after the strikes.

A resident of one damaged block of flats, Olga, told news agency Reuters the windows were blown out of her apartment, “then came the explosion”.

One man cried as he watched emergency services carry a body away on a stretcher.

The attacks come as Ukrainian forces are believed to be preparing for a military offensive with new equipment, including tanks, supplied by Western allies.

Russia has struggled to make headway in a winter offensive including a 10-month battle for control of the strategically important city of Bakhmut.

It was not immediately clear what Russia was targeting in Friday’s attacks, but it has previously attacked civilian infrastructure.

Moscow has previously said it does not deliberately target civilians, but thousands have been injured and killed across Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.

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