Russia launched its most intense ever air attack on Ukraine, overcoming its defenses with drones, airstrikes and powerful missiles

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Russia launched its biggest-ever wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities overnight using hundreds of missiles and drones.

Ukrainian officials said that the attacks struck Ukrainian capital Kyiv in the north, the cities of Dnipro and Kharkiv in the east, Lviv in the west, and Odesa in the south from late Thursday into early Friday.

Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk described it as “the most massive aerial attack” since Russia launched its invasion, reported the Associated Press.

Ukraine’s Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said “we’ve never seen so many targets hit simultaneously,” reported the BBC.

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president, on X said that Russia 110 missiles at Ukraine overnight, including high-speed “kinzhal” missiles, cruise missiles, and drones.

“Russia used nearly every type of weapon in its arsenal,” said Zelenskyy.

Kinzhal missiles fly at high speed and are difficult to intercept — while Ukraine has been having some success, in large numbers they are still a threat.

(They are sometimes described as being “hypersonic” — a designation some experts say they don’t deserve. But they are clearly still powerful.)

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In total, Russia launched 158 drones and missiles in the strikes early Friday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on X.

Officials said that as of early Friday morning at least 12 people had been killed in the attacks and 75 injured.

The attacks came after Ukraine blew up a Russian warship in the port of Feodosia in occupied Crimea earlier this week.

According to Reuters, one of the Russian strikes left people trapped under debris from a warehouse in Kyiv, while in Dnipro a maternity hospital was hit, though no injuries were reported.

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Ukraine has long anticipated an increase in Russia airstrikes. The pace slowed down in the fall, which was widely seen as Russia conserving its supplies for a larger wave of strikes through winter.

To foil the attacks, Ukraine is using Western air defense systems, though not all cities are protected. Those with defenses can be overwhelmed by massed attacks with many targets to intercept at once.

Earlier in the week, the Pentagon signed off an aid package to Ukraine, calling it the last it can provide without further approval from Congress.

It comes amid concerns that Western support for Ukraine is beginning to wane, with an earlier $50 billion aid package currently blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

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A similar amount of funding proposed by the European Union is also held up by the veto of one member state, Hungary.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry said the Friday attacks highlighted that “No talks about ‘ceasefires’, ‘temporary territorial concessions’, ‘fatigue’, ‘negotiations’ or other ‘gestures’ will halt Russian aggression.”

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Russia launched its most intense ever air attack on Ukraine, overcoming its defenses with drones, airstrikes and powerful missiles

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