Russia hits Ukraine with biggest air strikes in months

STORY: Russian air strikes have hit cities across Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, in the first large scale attack in nearly two months.

Several people were killed after residential areas were targeted in the early hours of Friday morning (April 28).

In the central city of Uman, there were number of fatalities and many wounded after a residential building was struck, leaving firefighters and rescue workers combing through the rubble for survivors and retrieving the dead.

Ukraine’s interior minister told Reuters that over half of the flats in the building were “completely destroyed.”

This man’s apartment was one of those hit.

He describes being woken at 4:30am by an explosion which trapped him until rescuers were able to free him.

“My flat is on the seventh floor on the other side of that block. We felt the impact, we heard the explosion, I went to the door, I unlocked it but I couldn't open it because it was blocked…”

"My neighbors are gone, no one is left. … There is no one alive in the whole block, only the kitchens were left standing from the first to the fifth floor."

Further east in Dnipro, a woman and her child were killed at home, while one child is reported to have been hospitalized in a town outside of Kyiv, after missile debris hit an apartment block.

Explosions were also reported in Mykolaiv, Poltava and Kremenchuk.

The Ukrainian military said it had shot down all but two of the cruise missiles fired by Russia.

In Kyiv, officials reported that air defence units had destroyed 11 missiles and two drones.

Writing on Telegram, President Volodymr Zelenskiy condemned the attacks, which come as Kyiv prepares to launch its long-awaited spring counter-offensive.

Using hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles sent by the west, Ukraine plans to try and retake Russian-occupied territory in the East.

While it is not clear what Russia was targeting in the overnight attacks, it has regularly struck civilian infrastructure.

Although such attacks have tapered off since winter ended, with Ukraine’s Western allies suggesting Russia had used up much of it’s long-range missile arsenal.

Moscow denies targeting civilians, but such air strikes and shelling have killed thousands of people and devastated Ukrainian cities.