KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia launched an intense series of night-time air attacks using drones and missiles against targets across Ukraine, and targeting the southern port city of Odesa for a second night in a row, Ukrainian officials said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a fire at a military facility in Russian-annexed Crimea caused the closure of an important highway and the evacuation of civilians from four settlements, according to Sergey Aksyonov, the Russia-appointed head of the region, which was annexed in 2014.
He did not specific a cause for the fire at the facility in Kirovsky district, which came two days after an attack on a bridge linking Russia to the peninsula that the Kremlin has blamed on Ukraine.
“A difficult night of air attacks for all of Ukraine,” said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration in a statement on Telegram.
Popko said the attacks were especially fierce in Odesa for a second consecutive night.
Odesa’s regional governor Oleh Kiper said the details of damage and possible casualties following Russia’s “powerful” attack in the region would be provided later.
Russia also attacked Kyiv with Iranian-made Shahed drones but with “no result,” said Popko. Ukrainian air defense intercepted all the drones aimed at the capital and a preliminary investigation showed there were no casualties.
In Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region, Russian drone attacks damaged some infrastructure and private homes, according to regional governor Vitalii Bunechko. No casualties were reported.
Officials in the Ukrainian regions of Poltava and Kirovohradskyi also reported attacks.
The Ukrainian Air Force reported that the military intercepted 13 out of 16 Kalibr cruise missiles, 23 out of 32 fired Shahed-drones, and one Kh-59 missile.
According to the report, Russia also fired 8 cruise missiles Kh-22 and 6 high-precision Oniks missiles, with the Oniks missiles directed at infrastructure in the Odesa region.
The latest barrage came one day after Russia carried out what Moscow’s Defense Ministry described as a “strike of retribution” on Ukrainian military facilities near Odesa and the coastal city of Mykolaiv, using sea-launched precision weapons.
Russia blames Ukraine for a July 17 strike on the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia with the Crimea, and is a key artery for military and civilian supplies.
Ukraine’s top security agency appeared tacitly to admit to a role in the July 17 attack, but stopped short of directly claiming responsibility, echoing their responses after previous similar attacks on the Kerch Bridge.