According to the Ukrainian government and media sources, Russia has fired a barrage of missiles on towns all around Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, the Black Sea port of Odesa, and the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
Air raid sirens were activated across Ukraine early on Thursday as a result of the missile attacks.
Strikes are being carried out while fierce ground combat rages on for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. The conflict may drag on for years, according to the head of US intelligence.
Only a little more than a year ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin began his invasion. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians have now died or been injured, and millions more Ukrainians have fled their homes.
Explosions were reported by Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, in the Holosiivskyi neighbourhood in the city’s southern part. “All services heading to the spot,” he tweeted on social media.
Governor Maksym Marchenko of the Odesa area said on Telegram that a large-scale missile attack had struck an energy complex in the port city, cutting off power. He said that some missiles had been shot down by anti-aircraft forces, and new strikes might follow.
According to the head of the regional administration, Oleg Synegubov, “around 15” strikes targeted “important infrastructure facilities” and a residential building in Kharkiv city and the surrounding area.
Vynnytsia and Rivne in the west, Dnipro and Poltava in the centre, and other areas are also affected.
Avril Haines, the US Director of National Intelligence, speculated on Wednesday that President Putin may be preparing to prolong the conflict for years, but that Russia was unable to mount any fresh offensives this year.
She claimed that the conflict in Ukraine had devolved into an “attritional grinding war” in which neither side has a clear military edge.
“We do not foresee the Russian military recovering enough this year to make major territorial gains, but Putin most likely calculates the time works in his favour, and that prolonging the war including with potential pauses in the fighting may be his best remaining pathway to eventually securing Russia’s strategic interests in Ukraine, even if it takes years,” she remarked.