(Bloomberg) -- Russia launched one of its biggest missile and drone strikes on Ukraine this year, hitting targets in Kyiv and in western regions close to the Polish border as Kremlin forces ramped up attacks.
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At least four people were killed and more than 30 were injured in the capital after an 18-story residential building was set ablaze by a strike in the Holosiivskiy district in southern Kyiv, the Interior Ministry said. Farther west, Russian cruise missiles hit an industrial facility in the Lviv region some 70 kilometers (44 miles) from the border with Poland, which scrambled fighter jets in response.
Ukraine’s Air Force said the barrage consisted of 44 missiles and 20 drones, most of which were shot down. Russia has intensified strikes since the end of last year as Ukraine struggles to secure crucial military and financial aid and grapples with a shortage of artillery and manpower along the 1,500-kilometer front line.
Almost two years since the invasion began, the Ukrainian military is dug in fighting Russian forces after a counteroffensive last year stalled. Kyiv’s military has pulled back in several areas, saying it’s securing more advantageous positions, amid reports that Moscow’s forces are moving in on the embattled city of Avdiivka, near the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk in the east.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said this week he’s considering a shakeup in the country’s leadership as he acknowledged the war effort to turn back Russia’s invasion has stagnated. The comments came after speculation over the dismissal of Ukraine top general, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi.
Attacks Across Ukraine
The attack Wednesday was this year’s fifth large-scale missile barrage — and the heaviest strike since Jan. 8 — as the Kremlin’s forces step up strikes against Ukrainian targets, including energy infrastructure as winter grinds on, killing dozens of people and injuring more.
Attacks in Kyiv damaged two high-voltage power lines, prompting power cuts to almost 20,000 consumers, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram. About a dozen private homes were damaged in the Kyiv region.
Russian cruise missiles were launched against three western regions far from the front. The strike against the facility in Drohobych in the Lviv region partly destroyed a facility and set ablaze an area of around 300 square meters, Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi said on Telegram.
Poland’s military observed intensive Russian air activity linked with attacks and enacted “all necessary procedures” to safeguard Polish air space, the country’s operative military command said on X. Polish and allied aircraft were “activated” and are monitoring the situation.
In the Mykolayiv region, Russian drones damaged a local gas-distribution pipeline and residential buildings, killing one person, according to regional Governor Vitali Kim. Two people were injured in Kharkiv by a strike on the city center early Wednesday, the national police said.
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