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Blasts heard throughout Ukraine – officials

Air alarm was sounded on Friday for the entire Ukrainian territory

The mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko reported explosions in at least three of the city’s neighborhoods on Friday and has urged residents to remain in bomb shelters. Aleksey Kuleba, who heads the Kiev Region’s administration, claimed air defense systems around the capital were engaging incoming missiles.

Reports of explosions and calls on the public to heed warnings about missile threats have come from Kharkov, Dnepropetrovks, Kirovograd, Poltava, and Vinnitsa Regions, among others. Meanwhile, the national system warning about possible airstrikes sounded for all parts of Ukraine by about 8:30 am (6:30 am GMT), according to local media.

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There were few immediate reports about damage, though the mayor of Khrarkov, Igor Terekhov, reported a blackout. Aleksandr Vilkul, who heads the administration of Krivoy Rog Region, claimed missiles had hit a residential building, without offering further details.

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Ukraine hits Donetsk with worst shelling in eight years – mayor

Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk protocols, under which the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk were to have been accorded a special status within the Ukrainian state. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics as independent states, which have since voted to join Russia, along with Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

In October, the Russian military started targeting energy facilities that the Defense Ministry believes to be crucial for Ukraine’s military capability. As a result, the Ukrainian energy system has been significantly degraded, forcing the government to introduce rolling power cuts.

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Moscow has justified the change of tactics, stating that it happened only after Kiev launched several sabotage operations against civilian infrastructure in Russia. Days before the shift, a truck bomb had detonated at the Crimean Bridge, killing three civilians and causing serious damage. Russian investigators said the attack was masterminded by Ukrainian military intelligence.

At the time of writing, the Russian Defense Ministry had neither confirmed nor denied a new attack on Friday.

December 16, 2022 at 03:12PM
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