Russian forces have unleashed another large-scale missile barrage at energy infrastructure and other targets across Ukraine, causing casualties and severely disrupting daily life amid the bitter winter cold.
The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said his forces shot down 54 out of 69 cruise missiles fired by Russia from air and sea at energy facilities in Ukraine on Thursday.
The governor of the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine said two people were killed in the attack. The mayor of Kyiv said three people were wounded, including a 14-year-old girl, and that missile fragments damaged houses and a playground.
Energy infrastructure in the southern region of Odesa suffered damage, while a massive blackout occurred in the western region of Lviv.
Meanwhile, the defense ministry of Russia's ally, Belarus, said on Thursday that its forces had intercepted a surface-to-air missile from Ukraine and that the wreckage came down in Belarus' southwestern region of Brest.
Belarus' state-run news agency says there have been no reports of casualties. It says foreign ministry officials summoned Ukraine's ambassador to Belarus to lodge a strong protest and demand Kyiv conduct a thorough investigation into the missile launch.