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Russia launches large-scale missile attack on Ukraine, damaging energy infrastructure

by Dmytro Basmat and Martin Fornusek June 1, 2024 4:25 AM 4 min read
A firefighter puttnig out a fire after a large-scale Russian aerial attack against Ukraine on June 1, 2024. Location not specified. (State Emergency Service/Telegram)
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Editor's Note: This is a developing story and is being updated.

Russia launched a large-scale drone and missile attack on Ukraine overnight on June 1, damaging energy infrastructure in various regions across the country.

At least 20 people, including children, were injured in the attacks.

In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, at least four people were injured in the strikes, including a seven-year-old girl, following a strike on the city of Nikopol, Governor Serhii Lysak reported. The attack damaged a house, as well as two other buildings and a transport bus.

In Lviv Oblast, Russian forces hit energy infrastructure facilities, injuring four people, the State Emergency Service said. During the attack, regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi reported Russian missiles heading toward the town of Stryi.

Six cruise missiles hit three critical infrastructure facilities in Lviv Oblast, Kozytskyi said later in the morning.

In Kharkiv Oblast, a Russian missile attack aimed at the town of Balakliia in the Izium district, hitting two houses where 12 people were present at the time, said Governor Oleh Syniehubov.

Twelve people were injured following the attack, and one woman suffered from shock, Olena Shapoval, the spokesperson of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, told the Kyiv Independent.

The victims included eight children aged two to 17, all of whom were hospitalized, regional officials said. They were injured on the day that Ukraine, Russia, and other countries celebrate World Children's Day.

Syniehubov originally said that one of the injured victims was a pregnant woman, but Vitalii Karabanov, the head of the town's military administration, later clarified in a comment for Suspilne that her pregnancy was not confirmed.

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Firefighters putting out a burning house after a Russian missile attack against Balakliia in Kharkiv Oblast on June 1, 2024. (Governor Oleh Syniehubov/Telegram)

At around 4 a.m. local time, the debris from a downed Russian Shahed-type drone caused a fire to break out at a critical infrastructure facility in Vinnytsia Oblast, Governor Serhii Borzov reported.

Ukraine's Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko confirmed that energy infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kirovohrad, and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts came under fire by Russian forces. Restoration and emergency workers are currently on scene and are determining the extent of the damage.

In Zaporizhzhia, multiple explosions were heard around 3 a.m local time, Zaporizhzhia Oblast Governor Ivan Fedorov reported on Telegram.

Fedorov later said that a combined 20 residential buildings and social institutions were damaged as a result of the attacks. No casualties were reported.

An energy infrastructure facility was also hit in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, resulting in a fire. No casualties were reported, Governor Svitlana Onyshchuk said.

DTEK, Ukraine's largest private energy company, said that two of its thermal power plants were targeted in the attack, resulting in "serious damage" to the equipment.

Two hydroelectric power stations and nearby infrastructure were also hit, inflicting "critical damage," said Ukrhydronergo, the state-owned hydroelectric energy operator.

Neither Ukrhydroenergo nor DTEK disclosed the location of the targeted power plants.

Ukraine's Air Force announced an air alert throughout the country, including the far-western oblasts, citing the threat of Russian cruise and ballistic missiles, drones, and Tu-95MS bombers.

Missiles were reported flying over Zakarpattia Oblast, which borders Ukraine's western neighbors, including Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Air alerts warned that the city of Mukachevo, located just 26 kilometers northeast of the Hungary-Ukraine border, was under threat of missile attacks.

Russia reportedly launched 47 Shahed-type "kamikaze" drones and 53 missiles of various types, including 35 Kh-101/555 cruise missiles, four Iskander-M ballistic missiles, one Iskander-K cruise missile, 10 Kalibr cruise missiles, and three Kh-59/69 aerial missiles.

Ukrainian air defenses downed Kh-101/555 missiles, four Kalibr missiles, one Iskander-K missile, and 46 drones, the Air Force said.

Polish and other allied aircraft were scrambled in response to reports of the Russian missile attack against Ukraine, the Operational Command of Poland's Armed Forces said on X.

Air raid alerts were turned off at 5:30 a.m. local time, and operations by Polish and allied aircraft concluded around 6:30 a.m.

In recent months, Russia has intensified its attacks against Ukraine's critical infrastructure in a renewed assault against the country's energy grid.

Russia's massive aerial assault follows the deadly bombing of the busy Kharkiv hypermarket in the middle of the day on May 25. The attack killed at least 19 people and injured 44. Hours later, a second Russian attack injured 25 people.

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