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Russia launches first Kh-101 cruise missile attack in two months, killing at least one

Russia’s first massive air-launched missile attack in months kills one, injured four in Dnipro’s Pavlohrad as Ukraine’s air defenders down 14 of 19 missiles. Meanwhile, Russian ballistic missiles injure two more civilians.
The Kh-55 also known as RKV-500 in the Ukrainian Air Force museum in 2008. Illustrative image: Wikimedia Commons/George Chernilevsky

On the morning of 8 December, Russian troops launched the first massive air-launched missile attack against Ukraine in more than three months. The attack targeted the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv and Pavlohrad in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said on the national telethon, that Russians launched 19 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles, while air defenders managed to destroy 14 of those, according to preliminary data.

Ihnat noted that before the missile attack, the Russian forces conducted “reconnaissance by combat” in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast late on 7 December, launching Shahed-136 one-way attack drones. Then, in the morning, nine Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers split into several groups and launched the missiles, according to him.

Later, the Air Force updated on its Telegram channel that there were eight bombers and gave more details regarding the attack:

In total, seven aircraft from the Saratov region were involved, which had, as per initial reports, fired 19 air-launched cruise missiles Some of the enemy missiles targeted infrastructure facilities in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Another group, having reached Dnipro, changed its direction towards Kyiv,” the Air Force wrote.

Kyiv Oblast downed all air targets

Serhii Popko, Kyiv City Military Administration Head, said that the Tu-95s made launches from the area of Engels in Russia’s Saratov Oblast, noting that none of the missiles reached the Ukrainian capital as they were downed on the approaches to Kyiv.

“After a long pause of 79 days, the enemy resumed attacks with cruise missiles from Tu-95MS strategic aircraft. […] The air raid in the capital lasted almost 2 hours. […]
There is no information on casualties or damage,” Popko noted.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior reported that falling debris from downed missiles caused damage to “detached houses in several communities in the [Kyiv] region.”

As of 8:45, there were reports that the debris smashed windows in some homes in Kyiv Oblast and partially destroyed their walls. Emergency services are already working.

“Operational services continue to work to eliminate the consequences of the morning attack. People will be provided with all necessary assistance,” assured Ruslan Kravchenko, the Head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration.

Casualties in Pavlohrad

Meanwhile, Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration Head Serhii Lysak reported a missile assault on Pavlohrad:

Unfortunately, there is one killed. Preliminarily, there are four injured. All of them have been taken to the hospital. All are undergoing surgery. Two people are in serious condition. All information is being clarified. More details will follow later,” he wrote on Telegram messanger.

Ballistic missile attack on Kharkiv, air bombs hitting Kharkiv Oblast

The Interior Ministry says Russia targeted western Kharkiv City with six S-300 missiles at 3 a.m., injuring two civilians with one of them hospitalized, and damaging seven apartment buildings and more than 20 cars.

According to the Interior Ministry, at about 1 a.m., the Russian forces also conducted an air strike on Kurylivka community in Kharkiv Oblast’s Kupiansk district, damaging a five-storey residential building, killing one and injuring another person.

Explosive drone attack on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast

Late on 7 December, Russia’s five Shahed-series drones were shot down by air defense in Pavlohrad and Synelnykove districts, according to Oblast Head Lysak.

Edit: the headline was edited.

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