Motorists swallowed up by fireball as Putin unleashes blitz on Ukraine

Motorists are swallowed up by huge fireball as Putin unleashes new blitz on Ukraine and missiles strike apartment blocks and energy infrastructure two days after misfire hit Poland and raised WW3 fears

  •  Russian strikes hit Ukraine’s southern Odesa region and city of Dnipro today
  • Footage shows people driving in Dnipro when missile exploded in front of them 
  • Infrastructure target was hit in Odesa region, with governor warning of the threat of a ‘massive barrage on the entire territory of Ukraine’

Terrified motorists were engulfed by a huge fireball after a Russian missile exploded in front of them, as Russia launched a series of deadly airstrikes on Ukraine today.

Dramatic dashcam footage shows people driving in the central city of Dnipro this morning when a missile suddenly smashes into the road ahead, causing a huge fireball explosion. 

The drivers were seen quickly turning away from the fireball and racing down roads in the opposite direction of the blast.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shared the footage, saying Russian ‘terrorists’ only want to bring Ukraine ‘as much pain and suffering as possible’.

The airstrike in Dnipro this morning was one of a series fired by Russian troops today, with the missiles smashing into apartment buildings, energy infrastructure and an industrial site. 

At least four people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded in drone and missile strikes around Ukraine today.   

Air raid sirens sounded all across the country this morning amid fears that Moscow was unleashing its latest large-scale missile attack as the war approaches its nine-month milestone.

In the city of Dnipro, 14 people were injured, including a 15-year-old girl, after Russian strikes on the city hit an industrial target.

The deadly airstrikes comes two days after a missile hit Poland and killed two people there. 

Poland and NATO leaders believe that the missile was misfired by Ukrainian forces, but Zelensky continues to insist it was a Russian weapon. Neither side has made their evidence public.

Dramatic dashcam footage shows people driving along a road in Dnipro when a missile suddenly strikes in front of the cars

Dramatic dashcam footage shows people driving in Dnipro this morning when a missile suddenly smashes into the road ahead, causing a huge fireball explosion

Meanwhile, in Kyiv, the city’s military administration said air defences shot down at least two cruise missiles and five Iranian-made exploding drones.

With the Kremlin’s forces on the ground being pushed back, Russia has increasingly resorted in recent weeks to aerial onslaughts aimed at energy infrastructure and other civilian targets in parts of Ukraine it doesn’t hold.

Ukrainian air defences this week appear to have had far higher rates of successful shoot-downs than during previous barrages last month, analysts say. The improvement results in part from Western-supplied air defence systems.

But some missiles and drones still get through.

Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, said a large fire erupted in Dnipro after the strikes on the city hit an industrial target. Eight people, including a 15-year-old girl, were wounded. 

A Russian strike that hit a residential building killed at least four people overnight in Vilnia in the Zaporizhzhia region. Rescuers were combing the rubble for any other victims, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a senior official in the Ukrainian presidential office.

Dramatic dashcam footage shows people driving in Dnipro this morning when a missile suddenly smashes into the road ahead, causing a huge fireball explosion. The drivers were seen quickly turning away from the fireball and racing down roads in the opposite direction of the blast

Elsewhere, Russian troops launched a missile attack on the Izium district of the Kharkiv Oblast, hitting a critical infrastructure, governor Oleh Syniehubov said. The blast injured at least three people. 

An infrastructure target was hit in the Odesa region, governor Maksym Marchenko said on Telegram, warning of the threat of a ‘massive missile barrage on the entire territory of Ukraine’.

Multiple explosions were also reported in Dnipro, where two infrastructure objects were damaged and at least one person was wounded, according to the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

Officials in the Poltava, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi and Rivne regions urged residents to stay in bomb shelters amid the threat of missile strikes.

Thursday’s blasts followed the huge barrage of Russian strikes on Tuesday, the biggest attack to date on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Russia has increasingly targeted Ukraine’s power grid as winter approaches. The most recent barrage followed days of euphoria in Ukraine sparked by one of its biggest military successes – the retaking last week of the southern city of Kherson.

The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, called the strikes on energy targets ‘naive tactics of cowardly losers’ in a Telegram post on Thursday.

‘Ukraine has already withstood extremely difficult strikes by the enemy, which did not lead to results the Russian cowards hoped for,’ Yermak wrote, urging Ukrainians not to ignore air raid sirens.

It comes as doubts have been raised over whether the missile which hit Poland earlier this week really was a Ukrainian rocket gone haywire, with US and European officials calling for further investigation as President Zelensky continues to insist it was a Russian weapon. 

Polish investigators work at the site where a missile hit a tractor carrying grain on Tuesday afternoon, killing two farm workers

An aerial view of the grain processing warehouse in eastern Poland that was hit by a missile. Warsaw says the weapons was ‘very probably’ fired by Ukraine, but Zelensky has disputed that account

Polish President Andrzej Duda and NATO leaders yesterday played down suspicions that Moscow’s men had fired the S-300 missile which hit the town of Przewodow on Tuesday, killing two people, insisting it was ‘highly probably’ fired by Kyiv’s forces – meaning the allies will not respond militarily and risk sparking WW3.   

But President Zelensky yesterday insisted that he has ‘no doubt that it was not our missile’ based on military intelligence, and accused Ukraine’s Western allies of blocking his investigators from inspecting the crash site or being part of the probe into exactly what had happened. 

Kurt Volker, former US special envoy to Ukraine, appeared to throw his weight behind Zelensky yesterday evening – saying Kyiv has ‘very sophisticated’ missile tracking systems and ‘knows what’s going on.’ Though he did not specifically endorse Zelensky’s version of events, he called for Ukraine to be included in the missile probe.

‘The Ukrainians have very good data collection — they have good radars, they track every single missile, I’ve been to their headquarters where they do this,’ he told the Washington Examiner.

‘They know what’s going on. I’m sure the Poles do as well. I’m sure we do as well. So the Poles and Ukrainians need to sit down with their experts and look at their data … and come up with what they think actually happened.’

Separately, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced an extension of a four-month-old deal to ensure the safe delivery of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine through the Black Sea just days before it was set to expire.

Guterres said in a statement the United Nations is also ‘fully committed’ to removing obstacles that have impeded the export of food and fertilizer from Russia, which is one of two agreements struck between the two countries and Turkey in July. 

The deals signed in Istanbul are aimed to help bring down prices of food and fertilizer and avoid a global food crisis.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the extension of the grain deal a ‘key decision in the global fight against the food crisis.’

There was no immediate confirmation of the agreement from Russia.

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