Russia launches ‘major missile strike’ against Ukrainian energy facilities and infrastructure in several cities

Explosions were reported in at least three Ukrainian cities on Friday, as authorities said Russia launched a “major missile strike” against energy facilities and infrastructure.

Local authorities on social media app Telegram said airstrike alarms sounded across the country as explosions were reported in the capital Kyiv, southern Kryvyi Rih and northeastern Kharkiv .

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported explosions in at least four districts, according to the Associated Press.

“The attack on the capital continues,” Klitschko wrote on social media. He urged residents to seek shelter, reminding them that metro services in the capital were suspended as people took to underground tunnels for protection.

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A hole from a shell blast is seen in the damaged dome of an Orthodox church after what Russian officials in Donetsk said was shelling by Ukrainian forces, in Donetsk, the regional capital of Russian-controlled Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, December.  15, 2022.

A hole from a shell blast is seen in the damaged dome of an Orthodox church after what Russian officials in Donetsk said was shelling by Ukrainian forces, in Donetsk, the regional capital of Russian-controlled Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, December. 15, 2022.
(AP)

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said his city is without electricity, while Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov announced three strikes on critical infrastructure, AP reported.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a senior official in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, reported a strike at a residential building in Kryvyi Rih.

“There may be people under the rubble,” he wrote on Telegram, adding that emergency services had arrived at the building.

People rest at the metro station, which is used as an air raid shelter during a rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday, December 3.  16, 2022.

People rest at the metro station, which is used as an air raid shelter during a rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday, December 3. 16, 2022.
(AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky)

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National railway operator Ukrzaliznytsia reported power outages at an undisclosed number of stations in the eastern and central regions of Kharkiv, Kirovohrad, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk due to damage to energy infrastructure.

Trains continued to operate by switching from electric to steam engine power.

Russian strikes on energy infrastructure have been part of a new strategy to try to force the Ukrainians into submission after key losses in recent months.

Instead, some analysts and Ukrainian leaders believe Russia’s losses have only strengthened Ukrainian forces as the conflict enters its tenth month.

A man walks during a power outage in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Dec. 19.  15, 2022.

A man walks during a power outage in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, December 20. 15, 2022.
(AP Photo / Felipe Dana)

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Russian attacks have been launched into Ukraine on and off since mid-October, with the previous round taking place in December. 5.

Ukrainian authorities have reported some success in intercepting and shooting down incoming missiles, rockets and armed drones.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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