Defiance and disgust over the targeting of civilians met Russia’s first missile blitz on Ukrainian cities in weeks, while Ukrainian forces defended the eastern town of Bakhmut from further Russian incursions.


At least nine civilians were killed and electricity was cut off in several cities on Thursday due to an early morning barrage, but there was relief when power was restored at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which had been temporarily disconnected from the Ukrainian grid. Ukrainian officials have stated that their air defenses were able to shoot down a large number of drones and missiles during the wave of attacks, but that Russian forces also launched six Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles, which Ukraine has no defenses against.

In an attack on Thursday, Moscow admitted to using hypersonic Kinzhal (Russian for “dagger”) missiles.
These coordinated attacks on distant targets were the first of their kind since mid-February, marking the return of Russia’s five-month-old air campaign against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.

The occupiers have no choice but to use terror against the local populace. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this was all they could do. It won’t help them, though. They won’t be able to shirk responsibility for their actions.

Russia maintains that it is not aiming at civilians. In response to a cross-border raid last week, the country’s defense ministry claimed to have carried out a “massive retaliatory strike,” destroying drone bases, disrupting railways, and damaging facilities that make and repair arms.

At least three people were killed by Russian artillery in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, and dozens more were killed by missiles in the western Lviv region and the central Dnipro region, both near the front line.

Russia claims the attacks are aimed at weakening Ukraine’s military. The Ukrainian government has condemned the airstrikes as a form of war criminality because they serve no military purpose and are intended to harm and intimidate civilians.

The White House called the barrage “devastating to see” and promised to keep sending air defense equipment to Ukraine.

However, it is believed that Russia possesses several dozen Kinzhals, which can travel at speeds greater than the speed of sound and are designed to carry nuclear warheads with a range of more than 2,000 kilometers.

President Vladimir Putin frequently uses the Kinzhal as an example of a weapon that the transatlantic NATO alliance supporting Kyiv is helpless against in his speeches.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, was briefly cut off from the grid and forced to switch to emergency diesel power to prevent a meltdown as a result of the missile attacks. Ukrenergo, the Ukrainian power company, said the facility was later reconnected to the grid.
Russia has controlled the plant since seizing it early in the conflict, and both sides have previously warned of the dangers posed by its proximity to the front lines. It was declared secure by Moscow.

This week, a noticeable shift occurred on the front lines as Ukraine decided to continue fighting in Bakhmut, a town that has taken the brunt of a Russian winter offensive in the bloodiest fighting of the war.

According to Moscow, securing Bakhmut is crucial to achieving the war goal of stabilizing the surrounding Donbas region. The West claims the destroyed city holds little strategic value, while Russian forces risk their lives to give Putin his first military victory since mobilizing hundreds of thousands of reserve troops at year’s end.

Wagner private army commander Yevgeny Prigozhin of Russia, who has been leading the fighting in Bakhmut, claimed on Wednesday that his forces had taken control of the entire eastern half of the city.