Russia launched a new barrage of missiles towards Ukraine on Monday as it accused Kyiv of hitting military airfields deep inside its territory.
Dozens of missiles were launched by Russian forces towards Ukraine on Monday, cutting off water and electricity supplies in some areas and killing at least one person in the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, and at least two people in Zaporizhzhia , according to local authorities.
The remains of a missile also crossed the Ukrainian border, hitting a town in Moldova.
The Ukrainian Air Force said more than 60 Russian missiles were intercepted. Still, some hit their targets and the bombings cut off access to water and electricity in Kryvyi Rih and the southern city of Odessa, after recent shortages across the country due to Russian attacks. targeting critical infrastructure.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukraine used drones to attack two Russian military airfields on Monday morning, adding that its air defenses intercepted the attacks “in the Saratov and Ryazan regions”, according to a statement issued by the Russian Ministry of Defense. official Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
“On the morning of December 5, the (Kyiv) regime, in order to disable Russian long-range aircraft, attempted to strike with Soviet-made jet unmanned aerial vehicles. [drones] at the military airfields of Diaghilevo in the Ryazan region and Engels in the Saratov region,” he said in the statement.
“Russian Aerospace Forces Air Defense intercepted these low-flying Ukrainian drones,” he said, adding that the destroyed drones had “slightly damaged” two planes.
Three people were killed and six injured after a tanker exploded at the Russian airfield near the city of Ryazan, Russian state media reported. The blast occurred at an aircraft parking lot at the airfield, emergency services told state news agency TASS on Monday.
The aftermath of the blast at the airfield appears to have been captured by Israeli satellite imagery company ImageSat International (ISI), which showed “burn marks and objects ‘near’ a Tu-22M aircraft which was probably damaged,” he told CNN.
The second drone flew to the city of Engels in western Russia, where there is an airbase of the same name.
CCTV footage geotagged by CNN appears to show an explosion lighting up the sky around 6 a.m. local time Monday morning in Engels, about 800 km southeast of Moscow. The footage, which was shared on social media, was recorded about 6 km from the location of Engels-2 airfield, a strategic bomber airbase.
Saratov region governor Roman Busargin reassured residents on Telegram that no civilian infrastructure had been damaged, but said “information about incidents at military installations is verified by the forces of the order”.
He acknowledged that reports of “a loud bang and a burst in Engels in the early morning” were spreading on social media and the media.
Pro-Russian bloggers said the incidents were likely an act of sabotage by Ukraine, which has not confirmed attacking either airfield.
The Ukrainian Air Force said on Telegram that 70 missiles were launched by Russia on Monday. While he said a “massive attack on critical infrastructure” had been repelled, with the bulk of the missiles intercepted, some caused extensive damage.
The port city of Odessa appears to be among the hardest hit regions. Water supply company Infoksvodokanal said that in Odessa “all pumping stations and reserve lines are without electricity – therefore consumers have no water”.
“Part of the city is without electricity, some boiler houses and pumping stations are off,” said Oleksandr Vilkul, a military official in Kryvyi Rih.
In the capital, Kyiv, around 40% of the capital’s residents are without power after an energy facility was hit on Monday, according to military official Oleksii Kuleba.
Power outages were also reported in the western Ukrainian region of Prykarpattia, following Moscow’s bombing campaign.
The state energy company, Ukrenergo, has cut electricity capacity in the Prykarpattia region by a third, said Svitlana Onyshchuk, a regional official.
The head of a major energy distributor said the overall situation was difficult but under control. “Almost all regions of Ukraine are prone to emergency power outages. Electrical engineers have started to repair the damage, work will continue overnight. We will try to return to scheduled outages as soon as possible to stop emergency outages,” DTEK CEO Dmytro Sakharuk said on Telegram.
“The most complicated situation is in the Kyiv region, the city of Kyiv, the city of Odessa and the northern regions of the country. This is due to both the damage and the number of consumers,” he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked “the air defense forces, our electrical engineers and our people” in a statement on Monday, adding that electrical engineers had already started restoring electricity.
He later added that repair work continued “in the central regions of Ukraine, Odessa, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv”.
“In order to stabilize the power grid, it was necessary to switch to emergency shutdowns in many regions,” he said.
There has been much speculation about Russia’s stockpile of missiles – with the latest wave of missile strikes on Ukraine taking place on November 23.
Following Monday’s attacks on Ukraine, the country’s Defense Intelligence (DI) service said Moscow still has enough missiles to inflict heavy damage on Ukraine’s infrastructure – despite the potential drop in stockpiles to “critical levels”.
The day’s bombing was “another terrorist attack against peaceful civilian infrastructure, mainly energy infrastructure”, according to DI spokesman Andrii Yusov.
“As for high-precision weapons in Russia, according to many indicators, missile stocks have fallen to critical levels,” Yusov told Ukrainian television on Monday.
Further south, and away from the front lines, a missile has been identified in a town called Briceni in Moldova, about three kilometers (nearly two miles) from the Ukrainian border.
The images do not immediately show what type of rocket it is. CNN is working to confirm the missile type.
The Moldovan Interior Ministry added in its statement that “the area where the rocket was discovered was isolated by police patrols and border police. The specialized services of the Ministry of the Interior” are on site.
Residents of Moldova suffered widespread power outages after the Kremlin targeted critical infrastructure in November. At the time, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Andrei Spinu warned that the risks of power cuts remained high in the face of Russia’s grueling invasion of Ukraine.