Russia hits Ukraine with deadly barrage, Zelenskyy appeals for aid

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Russia launched a massive wave of deadly overnight attacks on Ukraine using over 90 missiles and 60 Iranian-made drones, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday, in one of the largest offensives recently.

“There were more than 60 ‘Shaheds’ and almost 90 missiles of various types overnight,” he said.

“The world sees the targets of Russian terrorists as clearly as possible: power plants and energy supply lines, a hydroelectric dam, ordinary residential buildings, even a trolleybus.”

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Ukraine’s internal affairs ministry said the strikes killed at least two people and injured 14 while three were missing.

“All of our services are now involved in eliminating the consequences of the attack. We use robotic equipment in dangerous areas to minimize injuries to rescuers,” it said.

Zelenskyy once again appealed for more Western arms.

“Russian missiles do not have delays, as do aid packages to our country. The ‘Shahed’ have no indecision, like some politicians. It is important to understand the cost of delays and postponed decisions,” he said.

“We need air defense to protect people, infrastructure, homes and dams. Our partners know exactly what is needed. They can definitely support us... Life must be protected from these non-humans from Moscow.”

One of the strikes Friday severed one of two power lines supplying Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeast Ukraine.

“The enemy is now carrying out the largest attack on the Ukrainian energy industry in recent times,” Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Facebook, adding that shelling had knocked out “one of the power transmission lines feeding” the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

The facility, Europe’s largest nuclear energy site, was seized by Russian troops in the first days of the war but is powered by Ukrainian lines.

‘Extremely dangerous situation’

“This situation is extremely dangerous and risks sparking an emergency situation”, said Ukraine’s atomic energy operator Energoatom.

In the event that the final power line is cut, it said the plant will be “on the verge of another blackout, which is a serious violation of the conditions of safe operation of the plant.”

Since the beginning of the war, the Zaporizhzhia power plant has suffered multiple blackouts, falling back on emergency diesel generators and safety systems.

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“In case of their failure, a threat of a nuclear and radiation accident will emerge,” said Energoatom.

According to Zaporizhzhia’s governor, 12 Russian missiles hit the region early Friday, destroying several houses and injuring an unknown number of people.

“According to initial reports, seven houses were destroyed, 35 were damaged,” Ivan Fedorov wrote on Telegram, adding that people had been injured.

Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian mayor of the city of Mariupol, under Russian control since 2022, said on Telegram that a Russian missile had hit a trolleybus at the Dnipro hydroelectric station, also in Zaporizhzhia, killing civilians traveling on it.

Oleksandr Symchyshyn, mayor of the western city of Khmelnytskyi, described “a horrible morning” with damage to infrastructure and residential buildings.

“There are victims and casualties among civilians,” he wrote on Telegram.

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