'Realistic possibility' Russian missile strike was attempt to intercept Ukraine reserve units and military supplies
The Russian missile strike that struck Ukraine on Friday was part of a possible attempt to intercept Ukrainian reserve units and military supplies that were recently given to the country, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Saturday.
In its intelligence update, the MoD said Moscow launched “the first major wave of cruise missile strikes against Ukraine since early March 2023.”
The bombardment killed at least 25 people and was a departure from Russia’s use of long-range strikes that targeted energy infrastructure over winter, the MoD said.
The MoD added: “There is a realistic possibility that Russia was attempting to intercept Ukrainian reserve units and military supplies recently provided to Ukraine.
“Russia operates an inefficient targeting process and prioritises perceived military necessity over preventing collateral damage, including civilian deaths.”
At least three children were among the among 25 people killed by Russian missile strikes on residential blocks in central Ukraine.
Most of the 23 cruise missiles and two drones fired at the capital Kyiv and other cities early yesterday were intercepted, officials said.
But one strike breached defences in the central city of Uman, hitting a nine-storey residential block and killing at least 20 people including two ten-year-olds.
A two-year-old and her 31-year-old mother were also killed by a missile in the city of Dnipro, according to the local mayor.
Rescuers were last night desperately searching through rubble for signs of survivors.
The attacks included the first against Kyiv in nearly two months, but no targets were hit in the capital.
Explosions were also reported in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine.
The missiles are believed to have come from aircraft operating in the Caspian Sea region.
“The strike has achieved its goal. All the designated facilities have been hit,” said defence ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov.
But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the attacks “evil” and said they showed further international action needed to be taken against Russia.
He tweeted: “Evil can be stopped by weapons - our defenders are doing it. And it can be stopped by sanctions - global sanctions must be enhanced.”