Ukrainian officials say six people were killed by overnight missile strikes thought to have been in retaliation for drone attacks against a Russian tanker in the Black Sea.
The Kremlin’s retribution took the form of a barrage of missile strikes on Saturday night, with more than 70 air assault weapons deployed against targets in western Ukraine.
Kyiv’s Air Force initially said it had shot down 27 Iranian-made Shahed drones and 30 of 40 missiles, and have since confirmed at least six deaths as a result of the ten missiles that got through.
On Friday, Ukrainian drones loaded with more than 450 kilograms of explosives struck a Russian fuel vessel in the Black Sea just hours after similar strikes against the Russian port of Novorssiysk.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said following those attacks: ‘There can be no justification for such barbaric actions, they will not go unanswered and their authors and perpetrators will inevitably be punished.’
Serhiy Tyurin, deputy head of Ukraine’s Khmelnytsky region military administration in Western Ukraine, said the retaliation attacks came in three waves which damaged several buildings and caused a warehouse fire.
He added their intended target may have been an airfield in the city of Starokostyantyniv.
Two of the fatalities occurred in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, where a further four people were injured, with another two deaths in Donetsk.
A guided bomb is also said to have hit a blood transfusion centre in Kharkiv earlier in the day, while shelling in the village of Podoly killed one 58-year-old woman and injured one 66-year-old man.
Kremlin-appointed officials in Donetsk claim Ukrainian shelling killed a woman in her eighties and set fire to the main building of a local university, which reportedly collapsed without casualties.
Meanwhile, flights from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, approximately nine miles southwest of the city, were briefly suspended on Sunday morning after a drone was shot down from the surrounding airspace.
Though unsuccessful, it marked the fourth strike against the Russian capital in the past month, with two drones crashing into Moscow’s business district after being jammed by local air defences on July 30.
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