By Olena Harmash and Tom Balmforth
(Reuters) -Russian warplanes launched a wave of missiles at Ukraine throughout rush hour on Thursday morning and Ukrainians took cowl in shelters as air defence forces shot down incoming salvos, officers mentioned.
An air raid alert wailed throughout the nation as individuals have been heading to work. Within the capital Kyiv, crowds of individuals sheltered in underground metro stations, with some sitting on blankets or small plastic chairs.
Russia has focused the facility grid with missile and drone strikes since October, inflicting sweeping blackouts and different outages throughout winter. The newest missile strikes got here hours after an in a single day drone assault.
A Reuters reporter heard the sound of a missile flying overhead at a low altitude, about 30 km from Kyiv.
“As many as six Tu-95 (warplanes) have preliminarily taken off from Murmansk area and launched missiles,” air pressure spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat mentioned on nationwide tv.
“We anticipate greater than 30 missiles which have in precept already begun to look in varied areas. Air defences are working,” he mentioned, including there was no details about drones.
He mentioned the missiles appeared primarily to be focusing on central Ukraine, however that the salvos may change course.
Pictures on the Telegram messenger app confirmed smoke rising from a location within the Odesa area. Different unconfirmed experiences mentioned explosions had been heard. Reuters was unable to right away confirm these experiences.
“The primary Russian missiles have been shot down,” Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s workplace mentioned.
The air assaults got here hours after the US and Germany mentioned they’d agreed to ship Ukraine battle tanks.
Iryna, an accountant in her 50s, was sat on a bench among the many crowds sheltering within the Universitet metro station mentioned she was apprehensive about her husband.
“He was planning to go to a put up workplace within the morning and now he’s not answering his telephone,” she mentioned.
DTEK, Ukraine’s largest non-public vitality producer, mentioned it was conducting emergency energy shutdowns within the capital, Kyiv, the encompassing area, and in addition the areas of Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk as a consequence of a hazard of missile assault.
Different energy producers additionally mentioned they have been conducting emergency energy shutdowns in different components of the nation.
In a single day, the army mentioned its anti-aircraft defences had shot down all 24 drones despatched by Russia.
Fifteen of the drones have been downed across the capital Kyiv the place there have been no experiences of any injury.