Russia kills 25 in biggest air strikes in Ukraine in nearly two months


Uman apartments on fire after being struck by Russian missiles on Friday.

Uman apartments on fire after being struck by Russian missiles on Friday.Credit: National Police Ukraine/AP

Moscow said it had targeted locations of Ukrainian reserve troops and had struck them successfully, preventing them from reaching the front. It supplied no evidence to support this.

The wave of Russian missile attacks was the first since early March. Russia had launched such attacks almost weekly for most of the winter, but they tapered off as the northern spring arrived, with Western countries saying Moscow was running out of missiles.

The capital Kyiv was also rocked by explosions in the early hours, as were the central cities of Kremenchuk and Poltava, and Mykolaiv in the south. Two people were wounded in the town of Ukrayinka just south of Kyiv, officials said.

People gather at the site of the destroyed building that was hit during the Russian attack on April 28.

People gather at the site of the destroyed building that was hit during the Russian attack on April 28.Credit: Getty

The war is coming to a crucial juncture after a months-long Russian winter offensive that gained little ground despite the bloodiest fighting so far. Kyiv is preparing a counteroffensive using hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles sent by the West.

It wants to drive Russia out of the near one-fifth of Ukraine that it occupies and claims to have annexed.


“As soon as there is God’s will, the weather and a decision by commanders, we will do it,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said.

Ukraine was “to a high percentage ready”, he said, with new modern weapons to provide an “iron fist”.

Closer to the front, in Donetsk, an eastern city controlled by Russian proxies since 2014, a Russian-installed official said seven people, including a child, had been killed by Ukrainian shelling that hit a minibus.


Kyiv says strikes on cities far from the front lines have no military purpose apart from intimidating and harming civilians, a war crime.

“This Russian terror must face a fair response from Ukraine and the world,” President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a Telegram post alongside images of the wreckage. “And it will.”

Along hundreds of kilometres of front, Russia has been fortifying its territory for months in anticipation of Kyiv’s planned assault, widely expected once warmer weather dries out Ukraine’s notorious sucking black mud.

Ukraine made swift gains throughout the second half of 2022, but has kept its forces on the defensive for the past five months. Russia, meanwhile, launched a huge winter campaign using hundreds of thousands of freshly called up reservists and convicts recruited as mercenaries from jail.


But despite the heaviest ground combat in Europe since World War II, Moscow captured little additional territory, focusing mainly on the small mining city of Bakhmut where Ukrainians have withstood for almost a year.

Bloomberg, Reuters

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