The Ukrainian military said it used anti-aircraft missile units and mobile fire groups to destroy Russian cruise missiles during a string of attacks on energy infrastructure across the country Saturday morning.
“18 enemy cruise missiles were destroyed by aviation, anti-aircraft missile units and mobile fire groups,” a post from the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.
“In addition, the Russians attacked from ships in the Black Sea with Kalibr cruise missiles. A total of 16 starts,” it continued. CNN cannot independently confirm the Ukrainian military’s claims.
Several rockets flying towards Kyiv on Saturday were shot down by air defense forces in the region, the city’s Mayor Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said in a separate statement.
A series of attacks across Ukraine Saturday left residents in parts of Odesa, Cherkasy, Kropyvnitsky, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi and Lutsk without electricity, according to officials in each region.
The scale of the damage brought on Western Ukrainian power facilities is similar – or could be worse – than the effect of Russian attacks earlier in the month from October 10-12, the state-owned electricity transmission company Ukrenergo said.
Russia has launched a series of attacks across Ukraine in recent weeks, striking civilian infrastructure and sowing terror in Ukrainian cities far from the frontlines of the war.
The attacks have increased since the summer when, according to the United States and Kyiv, Moscow acquired suicide drones from Iran.
On Friday, France called for a United Nations investigation into whether drones used in the attacks are being supplied by Tehran.
“We expect the UN experts to go on the ground and to collect the remains of these drones and to tell us where they are coming from. This is part of their mandate, they report twice a year and it has to be done,” France’s Ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière, told reporters in New York on Friday.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian on Saturday denied US and Western allegations of Iran having supplied drones to Russia to use against Ukraine, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency.