A Ukrainian tragedy occurred as a result of a missile and drone assault from Russia, claiming the lives of 23 individuals

In UMAN, Ukraine, an attack by Russia took place in the early hours of Friday, involving more than 20 cruise missiles and two drones. The horrifying nighttime assault resulted in the deaths of at least 23 individuals, with the majority of the fatalities occurring after two missiles hit an apartment building. Among the deceased were three children, including a toddler.

It was the first missile attack on Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, in almost two months, although there were no reports of any targets being hit. According to the city government, Ukraine’s air force intercepted 11 cruise missiles and two unmanned aerial vehicles over Kyiv.

The incident occurred in Uman, a city situated about 134 miles south of Kyiv, where the residential building was struck, killing 21 people. The Ukrainian National Police confirmed the fatalities, including the two 10-year-old children and the toddler.

Emergency responders at the site revealed that a 75-year-old woman residing in a neighboring building was among the victims, having suffered internal bleeding due to the shock wave generated by the massive explosion.

As per the Ukrainian National Police, 17 people sustained injuries, while three children were rescued from the debris. Of the wounded, nine required hospitalization.

The assault occurred far from the sprawling front lines or active combat areas in eastern Ukraine, where a protracted war of attrition has taken hold. Moscow has frequently resorted to launching long-range missile attacks during the 14-month-long conflict, often indiscriminately targeting civilian regions.

Ukrainian officials and experts have accused the Kremlin of using such attacks as a deliberate intimidation tactic.

In contrast, the Russian Defense Ministry has stated that the overnight launch of long-range cruise missiles targeted locations where Ukrainian military reserves were stationed before being sent to the battlefield.

“The strike has achieved its goal. All the designated facilities have been hit,” Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the Defense Ministry’s spokesperson, said. He didn’t mention any specific areas or residential buildings getting hit.

Survivors of the Uman strikes recounted terrifying moments as the missiles hit when it still was dark outside.

Halyna, a resident of the building, recounted that she and her husband were showered with glass due to the explosion. Upon seeing flames outside their window, they quickly evacuated. However, before leaving, Halyna made sure to check on her friend residing in the adjacent apartment.

“I was calling, calling her, but she didn’t pick up. I even rang the doorbell, but still no answer,” she told The Associated Press. She used the spare keys from her friend’s apartment and went inside to check on her. She found her lying dead on her apartment floor.

Due to security concerns, Halyna declined to disclose her last name.

Another inhabitant of the building, Olha Turina, informed the AP that shards of glass were scattered all over the place due to the blast.

Turina, whose husband is fighting on the front lines, said one of her child’s classmates was missing.

“I don’t know where they are, I don’t know if they are alive,” she said. “I don’t know why we have to go through all this. We never bothered anyone.”

Hours after the attack, smoke was still emanating from the site, where three body bags were placed beside the building. Emergency personnel, civilians, and soldiers scoured through the debris outside, looking for additional casualties, while residents salvaged their belongings from the damaged structure.

One woman, overwhelmed by shock, was escorted by rescue workers to receive assistance.

Yulia Norovkova, the spokesperson for the emergency response team present on the scene, stated that approximately 150 personnel were being aided by local volunteers. Two aid stations, including mental health professionals, were functioning, according to her.

Regional Governor Serhii Lysak confirmed that a 31-year-old woman and her 2-year-old daughter perished in another attack in the eastern city of Dnipro, which also resulted in four individuals being wounded and a private residence and business sustaining damage.

These assaults occurred just a few days after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared that he had a “long and meaningful” phone conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, during which Xi assured him that his government will dispatch a peace envoy to Ukraine and other countries.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba remarked that the bombardment on Friday is evidence that the Kremlin has no intention of reaching a peace agreement.

“Missile strikes killing innocent Ukrainians in their sleep, including a 2-year-old child, is Russia’s response to all peace initiatives,” he tweeted. “The way to peace is to kick Russia out of Ukraine.”

Czech President Petr Pavel, on a visit to Ukraine, was unconvinced by the Kremlin’s past denials of responsibility for such bloodshed.

“The number of attacks on civilian targets leads to an only conclusion that it is intentional,” Pavel told Czech media. “It’s a clear plan intended to cause chaos, horrors among the civilian population.”

Following Moscow’s missile assault, the Russian Defense Ministry shared a photograph of a missile launch on Telegram, captioning it with the words, “Right on target.”

This message incited anger among Ukrainians on social media, as well as some officials, who regarded it as an insensitive display of satisfaction with the resulting casualties.

“The Ministry of Homicide of the Russian Federation is happy that it hit a residential building with a rocket and killed civilians,” said Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office.

In Kyiv, debris from the intercepted missiles or drones caused damage to power lines and a road in one district. Fortunately, no casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, in the town of Ukrainka, which is roughly 6 miles south of Kyiv, debris from the destroyed missiles or drones caused holes in the walls of certain apartment buildings and left a pink stroller crushed in the street.

“It feels like this nightmare has been going on for two years, but I still can’t wake up,” local resident Olena, 62, said. She asked for her surname not to be used, saying her son lived in a sensitive military area.

According to officials, Russia launched more than 20 cruise missiles and two drones at Ukraine, killing at least 23 people, with the majority of the casualties resulting from an attack on a residential building. Three children were among the dead.

The missile strikes included the first attack on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, in almost two months, but there were no reports of any targets being hit.

Ukrainian air force intercepted 11 cruise missiles and two unmanned aerial vehicles over Kyiv. The bombing was nowhere near the front lines or active combat zones in eastern Ukraine, where a grinding war of attrition has taken hold. Ukrainian officials and analysts have accused Russia of deliberately intimidating Ukraine through such strikes.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the missiles were launched at locations where Ukrainian military reserve units were staying before their deployment to the battlefield.