An air raid alert has been declared across the whole of Ukraine as Russia launched strikes in the country’s south and east.
Kremlin forces hit critical infrastructure in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and power facilities in Zaporizhzhia.
The public have been urged to take shelter.
Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv city military administration, said: “There is a big threat of the missile attack. I want to
stress again – do not ignore the air alert sirens.”
Zaporizhzhia city council secretary Anatolii Kurtiev said the city had been hit 17 times in one hour, which he said made it the most intense bombardment since the beginning of the invasion last February.
In Kharkiv, authorities were trying to establish the number of casualties and scale of the destruction, with mayor Ihor Terekhov saying there may be disruptions to heating and the electricity and water supply.
Military analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin is hoping that Europe’s support for Ukraine will wane, as Moscow is believed to be preparing a new offensive.
Kyiv’s military intelligence agency said Russian forces have launched an offensive in the partially occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with the aim to grab full control of the entire industrial region, known as the Donbas.
Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces there since 2014.