Russia fired more than twenty cruise missiles and two drones at cities across Ukraine on Friday killing multiple people.
In Uman, a city 215km south of Kyiv, two rockets hit a block of flats, killing at least 17 and wounding several others, according to Ukrainian police. Three children were pulled from the rubble alive.
Meanwhile, a 31-year-old woman and her 3-year-old daughter were reportedly killed in strikes on the eastern city of Dnipro.
Air raid sirens rang out around the capital in the first attack against the city in nearly two months, with Ukraine’s air force shooting down 21 out of 23 rockets and two attack drones, according to the local authorities.
No strikes were immediately reported, but fragments from intercepted missiles and drones damaged power lines and a road in one neighbourhood of Kyiv.
No casualties were reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted on Telegram, demanding an international "response" to Russian "terror".
"Evil can be stopped by weapons - our defenders are doing it. And it can be stopped by sanctions - global sanctions must be enhanced," he said in a tweet.
Three body bags lay next to the block of flats in Uman on Friday morning as smoke continued to billow hours after the attack.
Rescuers said one child, born in 2013, was among the dead. Another of those killed was a 75-year-old woman in a neighbouring building, who suffered internal bleeding from the shockwave, said emergency services.
Soldiers, civilians and emergency crews worked throughout the night to rescue more victims, while residents salvaged whatever they could from the wreckage.
One woman, crying in shock, was taken away by rescue crews for help.
In Kyiv, air raid sirens started at about 4 a.m. and the alert ended about two hours later.
The attack was the first in the capital since 9 March.
The strikes come as Ukraine and Russia ready themselves for renewed fighting, with Kyiv massing troops and equipment, including tanks, ahead of a planned spring offensive.
"Preparations are nearing completion", said Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, alluding to a major attack his country wants to launch to reclaim territories occupied in the east and south by Russia.
"Equipment has been promised, prepared and partially delivered. In the broadest sense, we are ready," he declared during a news conference today.
"When God wills it... we will do it."
Russia said it had shelled "temporary deployment points of reserve units of the Ukrainian armed forces" with "high-precision weapons".
"All assigned targets were hit," the Russian Defence Ministry said.
Moscow has claimed it does not target civilians, though it has previously launched strikes on civilian infrastructure, such as energy facilities.
Thousands of civilians have been killed and injured across Ukraine since the invasion began in February.
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