Explosions in Kyiv, air raid sirens across Ukraine

The Ukraine capital Kyiv was rocked by explosions early on Friday and air raid sirens and explosions were reported across the country, according to the Interfax Ukraine and reports on social media channels.

There were no details on what had been struck in Kyiv or of any damage and casualties. The city’s military administration said anti-aircraft units were in operation.

Earlier reports said cities from central Ukraine to the southern Mykolaiv region had been hit by explosions.

Interfax said explosions were reported after midnight in Dnipro, Kremenchuk and Poltava in central Ukraine and in Mykolaiv in the south.

Interfax quoted accounts on the Telegram message service as saying unidentified airborne objects were headed for the west of the country.

The attacks come a day after the Kremlin said it would welcome anything that could bring the end of the conflict closer, referring to a telephone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday.

It was the first time the leaders had spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

But the Kremlin said it still needed to achieve the aims of its “special military operation” in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, saying it was necessary to protect Russia.

Ukraine and its Western allies rejected that, saying the invasion was an unprovoked land grab by Putin, which has resulted in the biggest land war in Europe since World War Two.

Russian forces have suffered setbacks throughout the conflict and have been trying for 10 months to punch their way into the shattered remains of Bakhmut, once a city of 70,000.

Russia sees Bakhmut as a key stepping stone to other cities in eastern Ukraine, now its major military objective.

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