Russia launches massive missile strike on Ukraine as it prepares for HUGE ground invasion in New Year
Russia launched more than 70 missiles on Ukraine in a huge attack ahead of a possible wide-ranging ground invasion early in the new year
Russia has launched one of its largest attacks on Ukraine yet after more than 70 missiles were fired early on Friday.
Energy facilities across the country were pounded with dozens of missiles which killed at least two people.
The huge attack caused "colossal" damage to infrastructure in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, knocking out electricity in some areas and forcing Kyiv to introduce emergency power cuts across the whole country.
The commander- in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces said Ukraine shot down 60 out of the 76 missiles.
But nine power facilities were damaged, Ukraine's energy minister German Galushchenko admitted on national television.
The Ukrenergo power grid operator said Ukrainian energy consumption dropped more than 50 per cent following the Russian missile strikes.
Ukrainian shelling of a Russian-controlled village in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine killed at least 11 people and 20 were missing, the Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing emergency services.
The Black Sea region of Odesa was also targeted, including the central cities of Vinnytsia, Poltava, and the northern Sumy region.
Authorities on social media reported explosions in the capital Kyiv, southern Kryvyi Rih and northeastern Kharkiv, as air raid sirens were sounded across the country.
Ukraine's air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said Russian forces tried to distract Ukrainian air defences by flying warplanes near the country.
As Lidiya Vasilieva, 53, headed for shelter at a Kyiv railway station, she said: "They want to destroy us, and make us slaves. But we will not surrender. We will endure.
"I want the war over and soon. But I'm ready to wait as long as needed."
Metro services in the capital were suspended, as residents flocked inside its tunnels deep underground to seek shelter.
Ukraine has accused Russia of planning a wide-ranging ground offensive for early in the new year.
President Volodymyr Zelensky and senior officials have warned that Kyiv and its allies must guard against complacency.
In a series of briefings to the media, Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said evidence was mounting that Russia, which has suffered a series of battlefield losses, plans a broad new offensive.
He speculated this could occur in February when half of the 300,000 troops conscripted by Russia in October to support the Ukraine war would complete training according to a report in the Guardian.
Moscow's new offensive could happen as soon as January but more likely in the spring, the Economist reported on Thursday, saying the assessment came from President Zelensksy, General Valery Zaluzhny and General Oleksandr Syrskyi in recent interviews.
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