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Russia targets more power plants as Ukraine downs 58/60 explosive drones, 26/39 missiles

Russian forces launched an air attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, using drones and missiles, damaging power plants. Ukrainian air defenders downed 84 of 99 air targets. Unconfirmed reports suggest a possible violation of Moldova’s airspace during the attack.
Damage from Russia’s March 29 air attack in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Photo: Telegram/Serhii Lysak
Russia targets more power plants as Ukraine downs 58/60 explosive drones, 26/39 missiles

Overnight on 29 March, Russian forces launched a massive combined air attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, using explosive drones and missiles of various types.

According to Ukraine’s electricity transmission system operator Ukrenergo, the attack damaged thermal and hydroelectric power plants in the central and western regions, with emergency shutdowns now applied in Dnipropetrovsk oblast and hourly shutdown schedules introduced in Kharkiv Oblast.

Power plants under attack

Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko says the invaders hit facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, and Cherkasy oblasts, targeting power generation facilities. Now power engineers and rescuers are working to eliminate the consequences of the attack.

The Russian forces attacked three thermal power plants of the energy company DTEK, causing serious damage to the equipment, according to the company’s report. After the attack ended, energy workers promptly began to mitigate the consequences.

Preliminary information indicates that an energy worker was injured and received necessary assistance promptly.

DTEK says that since the start of the full-scale invasion, the Russians shelled DTEK’s thermal plants more than 160 times.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has reported damages to the energy infrastructure in the regions of Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Cherkasy, and Chernivtsi as a result of a massive attack on Ukraine. Emergency power outages are currently in effect in some areas.

Russia launched 99 drones and missiles

Overnight, Russian forces launched a massive air attack on Ukraine, with air-based missile launches from Tu-95MS strategic bombers, hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, aviation-guided missiles, and ballistic missiles from Crimea, as well as explosive drones. The massive air assault triggered a nation-wide air alert.

  • Missiles were detected heading towards regions such as Ivano-Frankivsk, Rivne, Lviv, Khmelnytskyi, Ternopil, Volyn, and Vinnytsia, according to the Air Force’s nighttime reports.
  • Expxlosive drone movements were detected across several Ukrainian regions, including Sumy, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Chernivtsi, Khmelnytskyi, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Mykolaiv, and Kirovohrad, with the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reporting threats and interceptions in these areas.

In the morning, Mykola Oleshchuk, Ukraine’s Air Force Commander, reported that air defenders shot down 84 air targets. 

According to the commander, last night, the Russians launched a powerful missile and aviation strike on Ukraine’s fuel and energy sector facilities, employing various types of missiles and strike drones, totaling 99 air attack weapons.

Oleshchuk says the Russian forces attack Ukraine with the following drones and missiles:

  • 60 Shahed-136/131 strike UAVs, with launch areas including Russia’s Primorsko-Akhtarsk and Kursk region;
  • 3 Kh-47M2 “Kinzhal” aeroballistic missiles, launched by three MiG-31K aircraft from russia’s Ryazan Oblast;
  • 2 Iskander-M ballistic missiles launched from occupied Crimea;
  • 9 Kh-59 guided missiles launched by nine Su-34 aircraft from Russia’s Belgorod region;
  • 4 Iskander-K cruise missiles launched from Russia’s Kursk Oblast;
  • 21 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles launched by 11 Tu-95MS strategic bombers from Russia’s Engels.

The air attack was repelled by the coordinated efforts of the Air Force and Army’s anti-aircraft missile units, mobile fire groups, and electronic warfare units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

Cmmander Oleshchuk says Ukrainian air defenders downed 84 of 99 air targets, including 58 of 60 Shahed-136/131 one-way attack UAVs and 26 missiles, namely:

  • 17/21 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles;
  • 5/9 Kh-59 guided missiles;
  • 4/4 Iskander-K cruise missiles.

Possible Moldova airspace violation

On Ukrainian TV, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Forces, Illia Yevlash, addressed unconfirmed reports of airspace monitoring Telegram channels regarding the possible violation of Moldova’s airspace by Russian missiles during the attack on Ukraine on 29 March.

Yevlash confirmed that the situation is currently under clarification, stating,

“This information is being verified. Indeed, missiles were heading in the direction of the settlement Ozheve [Cherkasy Oblast], but we currently have no information regarding the crossing of the border.”

The Ukrainian Air Forces are actively investigating the matter to provide accurate updates.

Poland scrambled fighter jets during Russian air attack

During the Russian missile attack on Ukraine, the Operational Command of Poland announced increased activity in the Polish airspace, with both Polish and allied aircraft operating, particularly in the southeastern region of the country, linked to the Russian long-range aviation operations.

The Operational Command assured that all necessary procedures to ensure the security of Polish airspace had been initiated and are being closely monitored in response to the intense Russian military activity observed last night.

Regional authorities report damage and casualties

The Russian attacks also damaged residential homes and injured civilians.

Dnipro

According to the head of Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, Serhii Lysak, several energy facilities in Dniprovskyi, Kryvyi Rih, and Kamianske districts of the region have been damaged in the attack, with one person injured at one of them.

He says air defenders destroyed 24 air targets in the skies of the region, including 12 missiles over Dnipro City, and 12 explosive drones in Pavlohrad, Dniprovskyi, and Kamianske districts.

Five more people were injured in Kamianske, where the Russians targeted a dacha cooperative – a summer cottage community, with three cottage houses destroyed and four more damaged. Lysak says among those injured is a five-year-old girl, two women aged 19 and 47, and two more men, aged 36 and 47. Those have been hospitalized, with one of the adults being in serious condition.

Additionally, Russia continued shelling the Nikopol district across the Dnipro River. Lysak says yesterday evening, no one was hurt in the fire attacks that damaged a recreation facility, three detached homes, and outbuildings. At night, Russia shelled the Marhanets community and Nikopol city, destroying a shop and a clothing repair shop. No one was hurt, Lysak said.

Later the regional leader updated that utility workers managed to restore electricity and water supply to the homes of local residents in the region, where there were interruptions.

Cherkasy

Ihor Taburets, Cherkasy Oblast Head, reported that Russians terrorized the region with air attacks almost all night. However, no one was hurt, and some air targets were intercepted.

Taburets says that the region’s air defense forces successfully intercepted six enemy Shahed drones over the area. The falling debris caused damage to a non-residential building and shattered windows in a private residence. Additionally, air defenders shot down a cruise missile in the Uman district, the crash did not cause any harm.

However, there have been missile strikes on an energy infrastructure facility. Emergency services are on site, and efforts to mitigate the aftermath are ongoing, according to the oblast chief.

Lviv

In a statement following a night-time assault, Maksym Kozytskyi, the Head of the Lviv Regional Military Administration, reported that missile debris damaged a critical infrastructure facility in Lviv Oblast. He revealed that all 11 enemy drones were successfully intercepted and destroyed by the Air Command “West” forces, while two Kinzhal missiles, unfortunately, evaded interception.

Kozytskyi says there were no casualties or injuries as a result of the attack.

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