Russia attacked cities in a wide arc across Ukraine from the capital Kiev through central and southern regions early Friday, killing at least two people, according to media and officials.
“A young woman and a three-year-old boy have died,” Boris Filatov, the mayor of the central city of Dnipro, said on a telegram. Filatov gave no further details.
Pictures on social media showed an apartment building on fire in the central city of Uman.
Kiev was also rocked by the explosions, and air raid sirens and explosions were reported across the country, according to reports in Interfax Ukraine and on social media channels.
There were no details on what had been hit in Kiev or on any damage and casualties. The city’s military administration said that anti-aircraft units were in operation.
Interfax said explosions were also reported after midnight in Dnipro, Kremenchuk and Poltava in central Ukraine, and Mykolaiv in the south.
Interfax quoted accounts on the Telegram messaging service as saying that unidentified aerial objects were also moving west of the country.
Referring to a telephone call on Wednesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Kremlin said it would welcome anything that could bring the conflict’s end closer.
It was the first time the leaders have spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.
But the Kremlin said it still needed to achieve the objectives of its “special military operation” in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, saying it was necessary to defend Russia.
Ukraine and its Western allies rejected this, saying the invasion was an unprovoked land grab by Putin, which has brought on the biggest land war in Europe since World War II.
Russian forces have suffered setbacks throughout the conflict and have spent 10 months trying to break into the shattered remains of Bakhmut, once a city of 70,000.
Russia sees Bakhmut as a stepping stone to other cities in eastern Ukraine, which are now its main military objectives.
The Ukrainian army is expected to launch its offensive soon with new military equipment, including tanks, from its Western allies.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)