Russia strikes Zelenskiy's hometown, woman badly wounded - Ukraine

Russian drones strike Kyiv

By Pavel Polityuk

KYIV (Reuters) - Russia launched a new wave of overnight air strikes on Ukraine early on Friday, setting ablaze several buildings in President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's hometown and seriously wounding a 64-year-old woman, Kyiv said.

Moscow has stepped up its campaign of long-range attacks in the last month, shifting from a winter tactic of targeting energy infrastructure with weekly strikes to much more regular attacks that often come during the night.

"Several explosions occurred in (the central Ukrainian city of) Kryvyi Rih. The enemy hit a private industrial enterprise. Several buildings caught fire at once," the president's office said in a statement.

Air raid sirens blared across the capital and most of the country as people slept. In Kyiv, the night sky was lit up as air defences searched for drones.

The Ukrainian military said it had shot down three of six cruise missiles, and 16 of 22 attack drones that were fired. The figures implied an unusually high proportion of the Russian missiles and drones attacks had not been intercepted.

Ukrainian authorities offered little detail about what had been struck except for the damage in Kryvyi Rih, the steel-producing city where Zelenskiy grew up.

"A 64-year-old woman was injured. She was hospitalised in a serious condition," the president's office said. "The enemy attack caused a fire in the administrative building. It has already been extinguished."

A 45-year-old man also received light injuries, it said.

Kyiv attributes the recent increase in the frequency of air strikes to Moscow's concerns about an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive aimed at recapturing land occupied by Russia in the south and east.

Ukrainian authorities do not report hits on critical infrastructure or military facilities. Russia reports its air attacks as successful strikes on its intended targets.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Timothy Heritage)