he capital of Ukraine was plunged into near darkness as Russia launched one of the biggest missile strikes of the invasion knocking out power in Kharviv.
Invading Russian forces fired dozens of rockets targeting critical infrastructure in cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih and Zaporhizhzhia. The head of the Ukrainian armed forces said they intercepted 60 of 76 missiles launched with their air defence systems.
“My beautiful sunshine. What am I going to do without you?” wailed Svytlana Andreychuk in the arms of Red Cross staffers. Her sister Olha was one of three people killed when a missile slammed into a four-story apartment building in Kryvyi Rih.
“She was so cheerful in life. She was a beauty. She helped everybody. She gave advice to everybody. How I love you so,” said Andreychuk.
In Kyiv, city council member Ksenia Semenova said 60% of residents were without power Friday evening, and 70% without water. The subway system was out of service and unlikely to be back in operation Saturday, she said.
Russian strikes on electricity and water systems have occurred intermittently since mid-October, increasing the suffering of the population as winter approaches. But the Ukrainian military has reported increasing success in shooting down incoming rockets and explosive drones.
In Kryvyi Rih, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown in central Ukraine, the apartment building hit by a missile had a gaping hole in its upper floors. Along with the three people killed, at least 13 were taken to the hospital, said Igor Karelin, deputy head of the city’s emergency services.
Rescue teams with sniffer dogs searched through the debris for a missing mother and her 18-month-old child.
Also at Kryvyi Rih, nearly 600 miners were stuck underground because of the missile strikes, but were later rescued, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said on state TV.
It came as the Ministry of Defence claimed that Vladimir Putin’s army has adopted a style of warfare abandoned by most modern militaries.
Russia’s military planning has remained “largely unchanged since the Second World War”, the MoD said.
In its Friday morning briefing, it added: “As shown by imagery, in recent weeks, Russian forces have continued to expend considerable effort to construct extensive defensive positions along the front line.
“They have likely prioritised the northern sector around the town of Svatove.
“The Russian constructions follow traditional military plans for entrenchment, largely unchanged since the Second World War. Such constructions are likely to be vulnerable to modern, precision indirect strikes.
“The construction of major defensive lines is further illustration of Russia’s reversion to positional warfare that has been largely abandoned by most modern Western militaries in recent decades.”