Russia on Saturday launched missile strikes across Ukraine that targeted energy infrastructure after a two-week lull in such attacks.
The strikes hit energy facilities in the capital Kyiv and in the regions of Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, Lviv, and Kharkiv. A Russian missile also hit an apartment building in the central city of Dnipro, and dozens of civilians were reported killed.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that “all designated targets were hit” in its missile barrage and didn’t comment on the reports of the apartment building strike. Moscow maintains it doesn’t target civilians, but its attacks on infrastructure have left millions of Ukrainian civilians without power.
Oleksiy Arestovych, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, suggested that the missile that hit the apartment building may have fallen after it was intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses. His comments were picked up by Russian media, and Arestovych faced criticism inside Ukraine for what he said.
Apparently responding to the criticism, Arestovych wrote on Telegram that no one would blame Ukraine for the incident. He said everyone understands that if there were no Russian strikes, “there would be no tragedy, regardless of the specific mechanism of its occurrence.”
He pointed to the Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile that hit Poland in November, killing two civilians. Western officials didn’t put much blame on Ukraine for the incident, even though Zelensky and his top aides initially portrayed it as a deliberate Russian attack and asked for direct NATO action in response.
Zelensky said in his nightly address on Sunday that the death toll in Dnipro rose to 30 and that the number could rise as rescue operations and the clearing of rubble continues.