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October–November 2022 nationwide missile strikes on Ukraine

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October–November 2022 nationwide missile strikes on Ukraine
Part of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Kyiv after Russian shelling, 2022-10-10 (073).webp
Streets of Kyiv following Russian shelling on 10 October 2022
LocationUkraine
DateBegan on 10 October 2022
at c. 8:15 a.m. (UTC+3)
Attack type
Missile strikes and Drone strikes
Weapons3M-54 Kalibr, Kh-101, Kh-55, Tornado, UAV
Deaths23 (October 10-12 period)[1]
Injured100 (October 10-12 period)[1]
Perpetrators Russian Armed Forces
MotiveRetaliation for the Crimean Bridge explosion; potential response to Ukrainian offensive, possibly planned before 3 October[a]

The 2022 Russian strikes on Ukraine infrastructure refers to several pre-winter waves of drone and missile strikes upon Ukraine's infrastructure, conducted by Russia as part of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[4] Contrary to the rule of war, most targets were civilian areas and critical energy infrastructure.[5][6] In the first wave alone, explosions were reported in dozens of cities, including Kyiv,[7][8][9][10][11][12] where no strike had occurred since June 2022.[13] Several following waves hit Ukraine infrastructure periodically, increasing damages, deaths, injured, and deeply affecting energy distribution across Ukraine and nearby countries. By late November 2022, nearly half of the country's energy systems had been destroyed, leaving millions of Ukrainians without power and Ukrainian energy workers rushing the restore services via various ways.[14]

The methodical attacks on power stations and electrical nodes imposed large economic and practical costs on Ukraine,[15] with a severe impact for millions of civilians over the winter.[16][17] It was assumed that Russia's strategic intention was to break the will of the Ukrainian population to continue the war.[18]

The strikes were condemned internationally, with the European Commission describing them as "barbaric"[19] and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg describing them as "horrific and indiscriminate".[20] Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, called the strikes "absolute evil" and "terrorism".[21] In the wake of the strikes, many NATO countries provided new air defence systems to Ukraine.

Background

Missile strike on Kyiv TV Tower, 1 March 2022.

In the early weeks of the war and aside of purely military fronts,[22] Russia bombed both information infrastructure[23][24][25] and fuel facilities.[26][27] For months thereafter, Russia continued to hit Ukrainian infrastructures such as railways, fuel depots and bridges, all this in order to hinder the delivery of weapons to the front lines.[28] Those disruption efforts were mitigated via restoration of services and decentralized alternatives such as Starlink statellite internet services.

Following successful September 2022 Ukrainian eastern counteroffensive in Karkiv region, poor prospect in Kherson, North of the Dnieper river, and the September 2022 annexation referendums in Russian-occupied Ukraine, Russia have been calling for negotiation in order to secure its annexed territories. Zelenski vowed to reject such negotiations.

According to the Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence, Russian troops received orders from the Kremlin to prepare for massive missile strikes on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure on 2 and 3 October.[3] On October 8th, Ukraine's Crimean Bridge explosion shook a key symbol and military logistic line between Russia and Southern military fronts, with Russia vowing to respond.

First wave (10–12 October)

Starting on 10 October, at 11:00 a.m., 11 important infrastructure facilities in 8 regions including the city of Kyiv were damaged as a result of the strikes.[29] According to Ukraine's Minister of Energy German Galushchenko, around 30% of the energy infrastructure in Ukraine was hit by the missile attacks.[30] Ukrenergo reported that power supply interruptions were possible in some cities and towns of the country.[31]

More than 83 missiles,[32][2] as well as 17 Iranian-made Shahed UAVs, launched from the territory of Belarus,[33] were involved in the strikes. Russia used Kh-101, Kh-555, Kalibr and Iskander missiles, and the S-300 and Tornado missile systems. Ukraine claims that it shot down 43 of the missiles fired by Russia, out of a total of 83, according to deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar.[34] The missiles were launched in several waves from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea by Tu-95M and Tu-22M3 aircraft.[citation needed]

The missiles hit at least 14 regions in Ukraine, the most intense of which were in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital. Explosions were reported in Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in Western Ukraine; Kyiv, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in Central Ukraine; Zaporizhzhia in Southern Ukraine, and Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine.[35][36] Russian president Vladimir Putin said the attacks were targeted at key energy infrastructure and military command facilities, but missiles also hit civilian areas, including a university and a children's playground in downtown Kyiv.[36]

Major cities

Kyiv

Dead civilian under blanket after missile attack on Kyiv city center

On 10 October at 8:00 a.m. local time, several explosions occurred in the Shevchenkivskyi and Solomianskyi District of Kyiv. This was announced by the mayor of the capital Vitali Klitschko. According to Anton Herashchenko, the adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, one of the rockets in Kyiv fell near the monument to Mykhailo Hrushevsky on Volodymyrskaya Street.[37][38] A missile struck the Kyiv Glass Bridge at 8:18 local time.[2][39]

Explosions damaged the building and the roof of the central station Kyiv-Passenger,[40] but the station continued to operate.[41]

The Kyiv Metro's red line was stopped, and the interchange node TeatralnaGolden Gate was also closed. All stations continued to operate as bomb shelters.[41] Smoke rose over the CHP-6 [uk; ru] in Kyiv.[42]

7 people were killed and 49 injured in Kyiv.[1] Areas struck by missiles included a nearby children's playground.[43] Fires broke out in six cars, and more than 15 cars were damaged.[44]

The subway trains stopped running and the underground tunnels of the Kyiv Metro became the shelters of citizens.[45]

The strikes damaged Ukrainian cultural and educational buildings, including the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, the Khanenko Museum, Taras Shevchenko National Museum and several other museums.[46][47]

Lviv

As a result of rocket strikes on Lviv's energy facilities, the city went into a blackout.[48] Hot water also stopped running in apartment buildings.[49]

Kharkiv

On the morning of October 10, three strikes were recorded on Kharkiv energy infrastructure facilities. In some areas, water and electricity were cut off.[50]

Odesa

According to the governor of Odesa Maksym Marchenko, three missiles and five kamikaze drones were shot down by air defence forces in the Odesa region.[51]

Dnipro

External video
video icon Reuters: Dashcam footage shows moment Dnipro hit by shelling

In the centre of Dnipro city the bodies of people killed at an industrial site on the city's outskirts were found, with windows in the area blown out and glass littered in the street.[52]

Zaporizhzhia

Residential building in Zaporizhzhia after the strike

In the city of Zaporizhzhia, an apartment block was destroyed and a kindergarten was damaged.[53][54][55] Five people were reported killed and eight were injured in the Zaporizhzhia region.[56][1]

Other regions

House in Kupiansk (Kharkiv region) after the strikes

Map of 10 October missile strikes on cities in Ukraine

Strikes were carried out in Khmelnytskyi[57] and Zhytomyr,[58] as well as in Ivano-Frankivsk,[59] Ternopil,[52] Sumy, and Poltava regions.[60] Electricity and water supplies were disrupted in Poltava, and there were blackouts in the region.[citation needed]

Impact over other nations

Samsung's Ukraine headquarters

Samsung Electronics confirmed that its Ukrainian headquarters suffered minor damage following the attack. One missile exploded near the offices at 101 Tower, in Lva Tolstoho street. There were no casualties among staff.[61][62][63]

German embassy damage

Germany's consulate in Kyiv was also damaged by a Russian missile although no officials were present, since the diplomatic building had been vacated for months.[64][65]

Missile crossing Moldovan airspace

Nicu Popescu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova, announced that three Russian missiles launched on 10 October from the Black Sea aimed at Ukraine crossed through Moldovan airspace. He condemned this event in the "strongest possible terms" and called it a breach of international law. Popescu also added that the Russian ambassador to Moldova, Oleg Vasnetsov, had been summoned to provide explanations.[66]

Second wave (21–22 October)

Further attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure were carried out on 17 and 18 October,[67] and on 22 October, Russia launched a second "massive" series of strikes on energy infrastructure. Ukraine's air force command said 33 cruise missiles had been launched, of which 18 had been shot down by Ukrainian air defences. Ukrenergo, the state power company, said "the scale of the damage is comparable or may exceed the consequences of the attack on October 10–12". The strikes cut off electricity for 1.5 million Ukrainians.[68] Missile strikes on 26 October reduced the country's energy capacity further, with the effect of extending the blackout periods in Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Chensky, and northern Chernihiv regions.[69]

Third wave (31 October)

A mass missile strike hit Ukraine's electrical infrastructure on October 31. It left around 80% of Kyiv residents without running water.[70][71][72][73]

Missile crash in Moldova

A Russian missile, shot down by Ukrainian air defence systems, crashed into Naslavcea, a village in Moldova. No casualties were reported but windows of several residential houses were shattered. Moldovan authorities strongly condemned the renewed wave of attacks.[74]

Fourth wave (15 - 17 November)

Damaged house in Kyiv, 15 November
Fire on an infrastructure facility in Kyiv Oblast

15 November

The Russian military carried out a massive shelling of Ukraine's critical infrastructure, which, in terms of the number of rockets fired – about 100 – surpassed the shelling of October 10 with 84 rockets[75] and became the largest since the beginning of the invasion.[76][77] According to Zelensky, at least 70 missiles and 10 drones were taken down by Ukraine air defense system.[78]

Kh-101 and Kh-555 missiles were fired from Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers from the Caspian region and the Rostov Oblast. 3M-54 Kalibr missiles were fired from the Black Sea.[75]

Unlike the shelling on October 10, this time the Ukrainian troops had the IRIS-T SLM and NASAMS air defense systems in their arsenal.[75]

At least 17 regions of the country were shelled.[79] In the Poltava, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions, the air raid lasted more than 5 and a half hours.[80]

According to the Ukrainian Air Force some 77 of 96 Russian missiles were shot down. A Pentagon official claims the Russian plan is to exhaust the Ukrainian air defences. An one stage some 50 missiles were in combat “within minutes” near the Polish border.[81][82]

Missile crash in Poland

During the attack, a missile struck the territory of Poland at the village of Przewodów near the border with Ukraine, killing two civilians at a grain dryer. At least 50 missiles were in the air at the time. According to a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, out of 20 Russian missiles, 15 were shot down and 5 hit their target. Ukraine fires two interceptor missiles at each incoming Russian missile. The spokesman, Yuriy Ignat, said during an interview: "so we can assume at least 30 missiles were launched from our side."[83] This was the first time a missile hit NATO territory during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[84] The missile was determined to likely be shot by Ukraine as part of their air-defense system in response to ongoing missile strikes, although an investigation by Poland and NATO is ongoing.[85]

17 November

Russia launched a further series of missile strikes on the morning of 17 November 2022, targeting Ukrainian gas production facilities and PA Pivdenmash missile plant in Dnipro. Explosions were audible also in Kyiv, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv.[86][87]

Fifth wave (23 November)

Satellite nighttime sensor view of Ukraine and surroundings on the night of 24 November 2022, showing the electricity outage

Russia launched an estimated 70 missiles targeting Ukraine. At least 6 people were killed in the attacks. Out of the 70 launched missiles, according to Ukrainian claims, 51 were intercepted by air defences, including 21 out of 31 missiles targeting Kyiv. The missiles targeted civilian infrastructure including apartment blocks, hospitals, and energy infrastructure. One missile that struck the maternity ward of a hospital in Vilniansk killed a newborn baby.[88]

Due to strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, more than half of Moldova was left without power. The blackouts were not caused by direct attacks but due to a connection to the European grid being cut off.[89]

Reactions

International organizations

United Nations

UN Secretary General António Guterres was "deeply shocked" by the large-scale missile attacks, his spokesman said.[2]

European Union

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, promised the European Union would stand alongside Ukraine for as "long as it takes", speaking in a video message alongside the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, near the EU's eastern border with Russia.[2] France's President Macron announced on 12 October that air defence systems would be delivered to Ukraine in the coming weeks because of the strikes. He said the war had entered "an unprecedented stage".[90] Germany announced, 10 October it would speed up delivery of four of its IRIS-T SLM air defence system.[91] The Netherlands Defence Minister, kasja Ollongren wrote, in a letter to parliament, 12 October, that the attacks "..can only be met with unrelenting support for Ukraine and its people." She announced €15 million in air defence missiles for Ukraine in response to the Russian attacks.[92]

Following a German initiative, fifteen European countries announced, 13 October, that they would jointly procure air defence systems to protect the continent under the new European Sky Shield Initiative.[93]

Russia designated "State sponsor of terrorism"

Following further attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure 23 November, The European Parliament voted in favour of designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.[94]

Individual states

United States

The day after the strikes, President Joe Biden condemned the attacks and announced that Ukraine would be sent "advanced air defense systems".[95] The US President had a phone call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. President Biden "expressed his condemnation of Russia's missile strikes across Ukraine, including in Kyiv, and conveyed his condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured in these senseless attacks. He pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defense systems."[96] The US Embassy urged its citizens to leave Ukraine due to shelling, which poses a direct threat to the civilian population and civilian infrastructure.[97]

United Kingdom

Britain condemned the strikes with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace saying, 13 October, that the UK would donate its advanced air defence system, AMRAAM which is capable of shooting down cruise missiles. He added that more aerial drones and a further 18 howitzer artillery guns would also be sent.[98]

Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram: "They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth. The air raid sirens do not subside throughout Ukraine. There are missiles hitting. Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded."[99]

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, announced the immediate interruption of his African visits due to massive missile attacks.[100] He said Vladimir Putin "is a terrorist who talks with missiles", whose "only tactic is terror on peaceful Ukrainian cities, but he will not break Ukraine down".[101]

The Ministry of Education recommended that all schools be transferred to distance education by 14 October.[102]

In a telephone conversation, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz and Zelenskyy agreed to convene an emergency meeting of the G7.[103]

Review shows more than 83 missiles and 17 Iranian-made Shahed UAVs, launched from the territory of Belarus, were involved in the strikes. Ukraine claimed that it had shot down 43 of the missiles, including a cruise missile that was shot down with MANPADS.[104]

Russia

Putin said the attacks on Ukraine were in retaliation for Ukraine's attack on the Crimean Bridge.

Russia's Ministry of Defence stated that it was satisfied with the strikes on Ukraine and claimed that all the targets, including military and energy objects, had been destroyed.[105]

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the missile strikes on Ukraine were in retaliation for the alleged Ukrainian attack on the Crimean Bridge, which he called an act of "terrorism",[106] adding that if such attacks continued, the response would be "severe".[107][108]

Russian propagandists and government officials, such as Margarita Simonyan, Tigran Keosayan, Evgeniy Poddubny and Ramzan Kadyrov,[109][110] welcomed the missile strikes on Ukraine,[111][112] with some calling to target power stations before winter.[113] Russian state-owned television channel Russia-1 spread false claims that the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, fled Ukraine following the missile strikes.[114] Russian pundits have also falsely claimed that the photos and videos of victims injured by shards of glass of a bombed high-rise building were staged.[115]

Others

  • On October 11, crowds gathered in the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, and the capital, Canberra, to rally in support of Ukraine following the strikes.[116]
  • Maia Sandu, President of Moldova, condemned the attacks, stating that "brutality, terror and killing of innocent civilians must immediately stop".[117]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China expressed "hope [that] the situation will de-escalate soon", a spokesperson said during a press briefing.[118]
  • Ministry of External Affairs of India issued a statement expressing deep concerns at "the latest escalation of conflict in Ukraine, including targeting of infrastructure and civilian deaths." They also called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities and urgent return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue."[119]
  • Yair Lapid, the Prime Minister of Israel, "strongly condemned" the Russian attacks on civilians.[120][121]
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke over the phone with his Ukrainian counterpart. He strongly condemned the Russian strikes and affirmed that Turkey will continue its support for Ukraine. The ministers also coordinated efforts on mobilizing a resolute response within the United Nations General Assembly.[122]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ According to some sources,[2] and denied by the Security Service of Ukraine.[3][failed verification]

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