Russia launched missile attacks across Ukraine overnight, killing at least twenty-five people, including four children.
In the town of Uman in central Ukraine, at least 23 people were killed, including 4 children and several more were wounded after a rocket hit a residential building.
Pictures and video from the scene showed a gutted apartment building with rubble strewn around it as rescuers frantically searched for survivors.
Rescuers search for survivors in the rubble next to damaged residential buildings in Uman. PHOTO: AFP.
"I want to see my children, they are under the rubble," Dmitry, a 33-year-old local from Lugansk, told AFP. Rescuers were using cranes to search for survivors among the remains of the multi-storey housing block in the central city of 80,000 inhabitants.
"I've seen a lot but I haven't lost my children before. Now I want to see my children alive or dead," Dmitry said.
In Dnipro, a young woman and a three-year-old child were killed after a missile hit their home, the mayor of the city, Borys Filatov, reported on Facebook.
🕯️This woman and her daughter were killed by a Russian missile in #Dnipro.— KyivPost (@KyivPost) April 28, 2023
The photo was published by the murdered woman's sister.
“This morning a Russian rocket killed my cousin and my 2-year-old great-niec. Rest in peace my little angels, I love you very much,” she wrote. pic.twitter.com/EIGQNf0rkF
President Zelensky condemned the latest barrage of missile strikes and vowed a response to "Russian terror".
"Every such attack, every evil act against our country and people brings the terrorist state closer to failure and punishment, not vice versa, as they think. We will not forget any crime, we will not let any invader avoid responsibility," he said in a statement.
"Missile strikes killing innocent Ukrainians in their sleep, including a 2-years-old child, is Russia's response to all peace initiatives," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted.
Missile strikes killing innocent Ukrainians in their sleep, including a 2-years-old child, is Russia’s response to all peace initiatives. The way to peace is to kick Russia out of Ukraine. The way to peace is to arm Ukraine with F-16s and protect children from Russian terror.— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 28, 2023
Air defence systems were also activated in Kyiv, with air raid sirens sounding just after 4 a.m. A number of explosions were then heard in the city as air defenses intercepted Russian missiles and drones.
"After a pause of 51 days, the enemy launched another missile attack on Kyiv," said local air defence forces head Sergey Popko.
"According to preliminary data, 11 cruise missiles were destroyed in Kyiv airspace. In addition to the missiles, two drones were shot down."
No casualties or damage to buildings have been reported in the capital.
Ukraine's Defense Minsitry reported a total of 23 missiles were launched, 21 of which were shot down.
Last night, the terrorist state attacked Ukraine with missiles launched from the strategic bombers Tu-95.— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 28, 2023
Ukrainian air defenders shot down 21 of 23 missiles and 2 drones.
At least five civilians were killed.@CinC_AFU @KpsZSU
Yuri Ignat, the spokesperson of the Ukrainian Air Force, has revealed that the missiles launched by Russia overnight are difficult to detect and shoot down.
"According to updated information, the Iskander-K missiles were launched from the southern direction. This cruise missile has the same tactical and technical characteristics as the Kalibr, but it is a ground-based missile and not ballistic. The main challenge with this missile is that it flies at a very low altitude, making it difficult to detect and shoot down. However, our air defence has successfully intercepted similar missiles," Ignat explained.
While Russia regularly bombed Ukrainian cities and infrastructure over the winter, the massive strikes had tailed off in recent months.
Ukraine's air defence system has been bolstered in recent months by the delivery of Western equipment crucial to the country's war effort.
In particular, Kyiv received the sophisticated American Patriot systems in April.
While it has not faced missile barrages since early March, the capital was the target last week of an attack by 12 Iranian-made drones, eight of which were shot down without causing any casualties.
The new strikes came as Ukrainian defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov said his country's preparations to push back against entrenched Russian positions were almost complete.
"Equipment has been promised, prepared and partially delivered. In a global sense, we're ready," Ukrainian defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.
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