At least nine people have died in a new wave of strikes across Ukraine in which Russia used powerful weapons, including rare hypersonic missiles.
Russia had reportedly not fired Kinzhal hypersonic missiles – which can evade air defences – since the early months of the conflict.
The latest barrage was the most severe to hit Ukraine for weeks.
It cut power to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – Europe’s biggest – although it was later restored.
On Thursday Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “High-precision long-range air, sea and land-based weapons, including the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system, hit key elements of Ukraine’s military infrastructure.”
It was the biggest day of Russian strikes on Ukraine since the end of January,
The Ukrainian military claimed it had successfully shot down 34 cruise missiles and four Iranian-made Shahed drones.
But it also said it had been unable to intercept the six Kinzhal ballistic missiles – nor was it able to destroy older weapons, such as Kh-22 anti-ship missiles and S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.
“This was a major attack and for the first time with so many different types of missiles,” the Reuters news agency quoted a Ukrainian air force spokesperson as saying. “It was like never before.” (BBC)