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Ukraine's critical infrastructure targeted in Russian overnight attack

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 31, 2024 12:04 PM 2 min read
An Iranian-made Shahed 131/136 kamikaze drone, a model often used by Russian forces in airstrikes against Ukraine. (Ukraine's Southern Operational Command/Telegram)
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Russia attacked Ukraine with drones and missiles overnight on March 31, damaging infrastructure facilities and killing at least one person.

Russian troops hit Ukraine with drones and missiles, including 11 Shahed drones, 14 cruise missiles, an Kh-59 guided missile, and an Iskander-M ballistic missile, the Air Force reported.

A total of nine cruise missiles and nine drones were downed.

During the attack, Russia tried to hit critical infrastructure in Lviv Oblast that was already targeted on March 24 and March  29, according to Lviv Oblast Governor Maksym Kozytskyi.

"An administration building was ruined. There was a fire, and firefighters extinguished it promptly," Kozytskyi wrote on Telegram.

One person was killed there, Kozytskyi reported, adding that the rescue operation continues and more people might be trapped under the rubble.

In Odesa Oblast, air defense units shot down eight Shahed drones, the military reported. Debris from a falling drone caused a fire at an energy facility, leading to blackouts.

According to the country's state-owned power grid operator Ukrenergo, the attack aimed at hitting its high-voltage substations in the southern regions.

"Due to damage to the equipment, the power industry was forced to apply emergency shutdowns in the city of Odesa and nearby areas," reads the statement.

Russian forces also fired ballistic missiles and a guided missile at Kherson Oblast, striking an agricultural enterprise. In Rivne Oblast, the missile debris damaged an electrical resistance, reported local governor Oleksandr Koval.

No casualties have been reported there yet.

Poland scrambled jets to defend Polish airspace in response to the Russian missile threat. This is the second time this week Poland has scrambled military aircraft due to a mass missile attack against Ukraine.

Russia has recently intensified its attacks against Ukraine's critical infrastructure in a renewed assault against the country's energy grid. The March 22 mass attack damaged the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant, Ukraine's largest hydroelectric station.

A recent major attack on March 24 saw 29 cruise missiles and 28 Shahed-type drones attack targeting eight regions in the west, center, north, and south of Ukraine. The attacks damaged critical infrastructure and left at least 76,000 people without heating.

Reductions in Ukraine's air defense capacity have limited the number of Russian missiles and drones the military can shoot down during attacks.

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