Ukraine War Update: Why Russia Bombed Kyiv Last Night – Russian forces conducted the biggest barrage of missile strikes in weeks in the early hours of Thursday morning, destroying residential buildings and key infrastructure in 10 regions across Ukraine – including the capital city of Kyiv.
— Danny Armstrong (@DannyWArmstrong) March 9, 2023
At least six people are understood to have been killed in a missile strike in a residential part of Lviv. The strike destroyed three residential buildings.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement slamming the attacks as terrorism, suggesting that the Russians’ only remaining tactic is to “terrorise civilians.”
“That’s all they can do. But it won’t help them. They won’t avoid responsibility for everything they have done,” Zelensky said.
Scenes From Kyiv, Ukraine
Video footage emerged overnight showing enormous plumes of black smoke rising into the air after a Kyiv power plant was struck by Russian missiles.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that the capital city endured several major strikes, with critical energy infrastructure destroyed in the process.
Klitschko said that 40% of Kyiv residents were without heating as a result of the strike.
Air alerts lasted for almost seven hours in the city, according to the head of the Kyiv city military administration, Serhiy Popko.
Russia Uses Unprecedented Force
Ukrainian authorities confirmed that six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were fired by Russian forces overnight – an unprecedented number of missiles fired in such quick succession. The missiles are among Russia’s most advanced weapons, and analysts suggest that Russia has only two or three dozen of the missiles left.
The Kinzhal, or “Dagger,” is a nuclear-capable missile that Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly touted as a weapon that could be used if discussions with Ukraine and NATO forces ultimately prove fruitless.
The missile is one of the newest weapons in Russia’s arsenal, entering into service in December of 2017.
The missile has a range of up to 3,000km and can reach Mach 12 speed.
While the missiles did not deliver nuclear payloads in Kyiv or elsewhere in Ukraine last night, the damage done to residential buildings and critical infrastructure was enough to cause widespread power outages across major Ukrainian cities.
The strikes may also have been a warning shot from Russia, with Moscow keen to prove that they are willing to deploy their most advanced weapons despite a major shortage of advanced tanks, ammunition, and missiles across the board.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.