The Ukrainian president said during his nightly televised address on Monday that “most” of approximately 70 missiles launched by Russia had been demolished. In a Facebook post, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine credited the Ukrainian Air Force, air defense systems and “mobile fire groups” for shooting down more than 60 of the Russian missiles.
During a phone conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last week, Putin said that missile attacks on Ukraine had “become an unavoidable and inevitable response to Kyiv’s provocative attacks against Russia’s civilian infrastructure.” He cited an October strike on the Crimean peninsula’s Kerch Strait Bridge, which Russia has claimed was an act of “terrorism” by Ukraine.
Despite annihilating most of the missiles, Zelensky said there were “several hits” during Monday’s attacks. He called the strikes an act of “Russian terror” that had resulted in four deaths, while praising the destruction of the bulk of missiles as “proof” that Ukraine was effectively countering “Russian terrorist capacities.”
“70 Russian missiles were launched, most of them were shot down,” the Ukrainian president said. “I am grateful to all our warriors of the air commands “East”, ‘South’ and ‘Center’. Well done!”
“I am also grateful to our partners for the air defense systems we are currently using,” he continued. “Every downed Russian missile is concrete proof that terror can be defeated.”
Zelensky went on to say that emergency workers were moving quickly to repair damage that the strikes had caused to power infrastructure, which led to outages in areas including Kyiv and the Odesa, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions.
He also said that the outages extended to the neighboring country of Moldova, highlighting the importance of what he described as the “joint task” of defeating Russia’s “terror.”
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, said on Telegram earlier Monday that two people had died and three others including a “small child” had been injured in the attacks. He added that “two infrastructure objects were damaged” as a result of the missile strikes.
The missiles hit buildings that included homes, with those killed including civilians, according to a report from the Associated Press. Ukraine reportedly said that Russia launched at least 38 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea, while 22 more were fired from the Black Sea.
The attacks came hours after Russia claimed that Ukrainian drones struck two air bases inside Russia.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said on Telegram that drones attacking bases in the Saratov and Ryazan regions had been shot down, blaming falling “fragments” from the unmanned vehicles for killing three Russian troops, injuring four others and “slightly” damaging “the body covering of two aircraft.”
Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.