Russian airbases hit, Kyiv blamed; retaliatory missile strikes follow | Top 5
The latest confrontation plunged parts of Ukraine into freezing darkness and about half the region surrounding Kyiv is feared to remain without electricity in the coming days following strikes on power facilities.
Russia on Monday hit Ukraine with a wave of missiles that struck homes and buildings and killed civilians. The latest round of attack – said to be the eighth in about two months – came after Ukrainian drones reportedly struck two air bases deep inside Russian territory, the Kremlin said. While Ukraine is yet to officially comment on the Russian explosions, its air force tweeted, "What happened?" and tagged along images showing blood on snow under a military vehicle and what appeared to be a damaged aircraft. According to reports, three Russian servicemen were killed in the Ukrainian strikes while four were injured in the attacks in Ryazan and Saratov regions. Russia later reiterated with a barrage of missiles, killing four. Significant disruption to the power grid was also reported in the east and the south of Ukraine.
Here's what we know so far:
1) While Monday's retaliatory firing knocked out basic services in Ukrainian regions just as winter sets in, Kyiv said it shot down most of the missiles. In his nightly address, Zelensky said: “Every downed Russian missile is concrete proof that terror can be defeated."
2) The latest confrontation plunged parts of Ukraine into freezing darkness and about half the region surrounding Kyiv is feared to remain without electricity in the coming days following strikes on power facilities. "In the coming days, about half of the region will be without electricity," the Kyiv regional governor said.
3) In the South, all water pumping stations and reserve lines in the Odesa region lost power, and water supply was cut.
4) The Engels base, targeted by Ukraine, is located more than 600 kilometers east of the border and houses the Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes on Kyiv. The Dyagilevo air base has tanker aircraft used to refuel other planes in flight and is about 500 kilometers northeast of the Ukrainian border.
5) The latest attacks, reports said, showed the vulnerability of some of Russia's most strategic military sites, raising questions about the effectiveness of their air defenses if drones could come so close to them.
(With AP, Reuters inputs)