The Ukrainian army said 10 drones were shot down in an early morning strike on Friday, local media reported.

Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were urged to take shelters when sirens blared in the city early Friday morning, a day after Russia carried out the attack. largest air raid since the start of the war in February.

Shortly after 02:00 (00:00 GMT), the Kyiv city government issued an alert via the Telegram messaging app urging residents to go to shelters.

Kiev region governor Oleksiy Kuleba told Telegram that an “attack by drones” was underway.

A Reuters witness heard several explosions and the sound of anti-aircraft fire 20 km south of Kiev.

The local media outlet The Kyiv Independent reported that there were air raid alerts in the Kiev, Cherkasy and Kirovohrad regions due to possible Russian drone strikes.

The Ukrainian Army’s Eastern Command later reported that anti-aircraft missiles shot down 10 drones over the Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Nine were “Shahed-type drones and one Marlyn drone,” the report said.

Waves of Russian airstrikes have hit the country’s energy infrastructure, leaving millions without power and heating in often freezing temperatures.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Thursday evening that Ukraine’s air force repelled 54 Russian missiles and 11 drones in the center, south, east and west of the country on Thursday.

Zelenskyy acknowledged that most regions were experiencing power outages. The areas where the loss of power was “particularly difficult” included Kiev, as well as the cities of Odessa and Kherson to the south and surrounding regions, and the region around Lviv near the western border with Poland.

“But this is nothing compared to what could have happened if it weren’t for our heroic anti-aircraft and air defense forces,” he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the barrage of Russian missiles on Thursday as “senseless barbarityahead of the new year.

Reuters footage on Thursday showed aid workers searching through the smoldering wreckage of homes in Kiev destroyed by an explosion and smoke trails from rockets in the sky. Officials had previously said more than 120 rockets had been fired during Thursday’s attack.

More than 18 residential buildings and 10 critical infrastructure installations were destroyed in the latest attacks, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Thursday for additional arms deliveries to Ukraine.

“It may sound like a paradox, but military support to Ukraine is the fastest path to peace,” the NATO chief said in an interview.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had to be convinced that he will not achieve his goal of taking control of Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.

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