An increase in shelling and drone attacks is fueling concerns that Moscow is targeting energy infrastructure ahead of winter.
Ukraine has reported that Russia has carried out dozens of drone strikes and fired shells and missiles against civilian infrastructure.
Kyiv said two dozen Russian drones and a missile were downed overnight as concerns grew that Moscow was again targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ahead of winter. Kharkiv officials said civilian targets were hit by shelling and drone strikes.
General Staff of the Army of Ukraine said Russian drones targeted several areas across Ukraine and were launched from Russia’s Kursk region and Primorsk-Akhtarsk region.
“As a result of combat operations, in cooperation with the Defense Forces of Ukraine, 24 attack bpla ‘Shahed-136/131’ [drones] and a controlled air missile was destroyed,” the report said, using the acronym for “bezpilotniy letayuschiy apparat” or “pilotless flying equipment.”
Police in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, said at least 10 Russian drones attacked civilian infrastructure and sparked several fires in the city and shelling damaged buildings.
“As a result of the drone strike, a local school was hit, destroying the roof and two floors of the building. “A residential building, a service station and an administrative building were gutted by shelling,” police officials added.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekov said the fire was under control.
Although there have been no casualties so far, Kharkiv police officials said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app that doctors had diagnosed three residents with “severe reactions to stress.”
Nighttime raids are part of a recent surge in Russian attacks. More than 100 settlements in eastern Ukraine, including Kharkiv, were targeted on Wednesday, marking the biggest day of shelling so far in 2023.
Local authorities in the city of Kharkiv said one person was killed in a shelling attack on Wednesday night.
Ukraine and its partners to the west worry that it may try to follow a strategy adopted by Russia last winter, targeting energy infrastructure and squeezing Ukraine as temperatures drop.
Last winter, Russia repeatedly attacked civilian infrastructure far from the front lines, leaving millions of Ukrainians without electricity, heat and water at a time.
“We are strengthening air defense and mobile firefighting teams,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on social media platform X.
Russia launched about forty “Shahad” drones over peaceful Ukrainian towns and cities during the night.
Our aircraft, air defense and mobile firefighting teams worked hard in ten regions of Ukraine from east and south to west.
Thanks to our players for every kill! Further… pic.twitter.com/XK0Ismogqy
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Volodymyr Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUa) November 3, 2023
“As winter approaches, Russian terrorists will try to do more harm. We will fight again,” he said.