Russian strikes battered cities across Ukraine on Friday, killing 26 people including five children, as Kyiv said preparations for a counter-offensive against Moscow’s forces were nearly complete.
The deadly new attacks included a strike on a residential block in the historic city of Uman in central Ukraine, where AFP journalists saw rescue workers extracting victims’ remains from a destroyed residential building.
The barrage of almost two dozen missiles overnight ended a weeks-long pause following the repeated Russian strikes that had aimed to paralyse Ukraine’s energy grid during the winter months.
Earlier in the day, Dmitry, a 33-year-old resident from Lugansk, an eastern city under Russian control, was looking for his children.
“I want to see my children, they are under the rubble,” he said.
Rescuers were using cranes to search for survivors among the remains of the multi-storey housing block in the city of 80,000 inhabitants.
“I’ve seen a lot, but I haven’t lost my children before. Now I want to see my children, alive or dead,” Dmitry said.