- Russia launched a multi-wave overnight attack on Ukraine with 70 air-assault weapons, including cruise and hypersonic missiles, and Iranian-made drones.
- Ukraine’s air defense destroyed 30 out of 40 cruise missiles and all 27 drones launched by Russia during the attack.
- The attack targeted areas in western Ukraine, far from the front line, and a blood transfusion center in the town of Kupiansk, with President Zelenskiy calling it a “war crime.”
Russia launched a multi-wave overnight attack on Ukraine with 70 air-assault weapons including cruise and hypersonic missiles as well as Iranian-made drones, Kyiv’s Air Force said on Sunday, and at least 10 missiles appear to got through air defences.
Local media said a worker at a grain silo had been wounded in the overnight attack, which appeared to be focused on an area of western Ukraine, far from the front line.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said people had been killed and wounded in an earlier hit to a blood transfusion centre in the town of Kupiansk, a railway hub fewer than 10 miles from the front in the eastern Kharkiv region.
Rescue workers were extinguishing a fire at the scene, he said on Saturday evening, describing the strike as a “war crime.” He did not say how many casualties there were.
Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians in a full-scale invasion that has killed thousands of people, uprooted millions and destroyed cities.
Ukraine’s air defence destroyed 30 out of 40 cruise missiles and all 27 of the Shahed drones that Russia launched overnight, the Air Force – which is celebrated in a holiday on Sunday – said on the Telegram messaging channel.
It also said Russia launched three Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, but did not disclose any further information on them.
“In total, in several waves of attacks, from the evening of Aug. 5 to the morning of Aug. 6, 2023, the enemy used 70 means of air assault weapons,” the Air Force said. “Information about Kinzhals is classified,” the Ukrainian military noted.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate comment from Russia.
It was not clear what happened to the 10 cruise missiles that were not shot down.
The deputy governor of the Khmelnytskyi region in western Ukraine, Serhiy Tiurin, said that a military airfield in Starokostiantyniv was among the targets.
“The Starokonstiantyniv airfield is on the enemy’s mind. There was a series of explosions in Starokonstiantyniv and Khmelnytskyi communities,” he said on messaging app Telegram.
“Most of the missiles were shot down by air defence forces.”
Tiurin said explosions had damaged several houses, a communal cultural institution and the bus station and that a fire had broken out at a grain silo.
Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat told the national Ukrainian broadcaster that one of the key targets for Russia’s overnight attack was the Khmelnytskyi region.
“Now, it is the Starokostiantyniv airfield that haunts the enemy,” Ihnat said.
Russia had earlier targeted the Starokostiantyniv military airfield in the Khmelnytskyi region at the end of July.
Ukraine is two months into a gruelling counteroffensive to try to push out Russian forces occupying almost a fifth of its territory in the south and east.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on July 26 that while Ukraine had recaptured half the territory that Russia had initially seized, the Ukrainian counteroffensive was in its early days and would take shape over “several months”.