Russia unleashes massive missile and drone barrage on Ukraine’s infrastructure

The barrage, which targeted energy facilities across Ukraine, involved 53 missiles of various types and 47 attack drones, the Ukrainian Air Force reported.

Russia launched a massive overnight bombardment of Ukraine with over 100 missiles and drones, authorities said Saturday, in the largest such attack on the country’s critical infrastructure in more than three weeks.

The barrage, which targeted energy facilities across Ukraine, involved 53 missiles of various types and 47 attack drones, the Ukrainian Air Force reported. It said 35 missiles and all but one of the drones were intercepted by air defences.

However, the strikes still managed to inflict damage, with two thermal power plants hit, according to Ukrainian officials. The attacks disrupted power supplies in multiple regions as utility companies rushed to make emergency repairs.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the Kremlin’s tactics, accusing Moscow of trying to exploit perceived wavering resolve among some of Ukraine’s Western backers by escalating its bombing campaign against civilian targets.

The overnight attacks represented the largest bombardment of Ukraine’s power grid and other critical infrastructure since a barrage on March 9th that time knocked out power to as many as 10 million homes and businesses. Russia has intermittently targeted Ukraine’s energy facilities since last October in a strategy to try to freeze the civilian population into submission during winter.

While Ukraine’s air defences have become increasingly effective at intercepting Russian missiles and drones, the sustained bombardments have taken a toll, damaging power stations and other utilities. Emergency blackouts have become an unfortunate regularity across many regions.

The Ukrainian military and Western analysts say Russia has depleted a significant portion of its stockpile of high-precision missiles over the past 15 months of war. Moscow has increasingly resorted to adapting air-defence missiles and drones for attacks against Ukrainian cities. Russia denies intentionally targeting civilians.

Saturday night’s bombardment came as Ukrainian forces continued probing Russian defences near the city of Bakhmut and other sections of the 600-mile frontline in eastern Ukraine. Both sides have taken heavy losses around Bakhmut, a symbolic battle that has raged for eight months.

Moscow’s campaign to capture territory across Ukraine’s east appeared stalled amidst fierce resistance and its failure to muster an effective offensive force. Some Kremlin hardliners have increasingly criticized the Russian military for lack of progress.