In retaliation for Ukraine's opposition to the Kremlin, Russian forces launched a missile attack on the Kyiv region for the first time in weeks. They bombarded the northern Chernihiv region, according to Ukraine.
In the meantime, Ukrainian leaders have announced a counteroffensive to retake the occupied Kherson region in the south of the nation, captured by Russian President Vladimir Putin's soldiers early in the conflict.
According to Oleksii Hromov, a senior Ukraine's General Staff officer, Russia assaulted the Kyiv region with six missiles launched from the Black Sea on Thursday (Ukraine time), striking a military unit in the village of Liutizh on the outskirts of the capital.
According to him, the attack destroyed one building and damaged two others, while Ukrainian forces intercepted one of the missiles in Bucha.
Five civilians were among the fifteen wounded in the Russian strikes, according to Oleksiy Kuleba, the regional governor of Kyiv.
President Volodymyr Zelensky initiated Thursday's observance of the Day of Statehood last year, and Ukraine observed it for the first time on Thursday.
"Russia is retaliating with missiles for the widespread popular resistance that the Ukrainians were able to organize due to their statehood," Kuleba stated on Ukrainian television. Ukraine will continue to defend itself because it has already foiled Russia's plans.
Governor of the Chernihiv region, Vyacheslav Chaus, said that the Russians also fired missiles at the settlement of Honcharivska from Belarusian territory. The Chernihiv region had not been the subject of any attacks for weeks.
The Russian military withdrew from the Kyiv and Chernihiv districts some months ago, failing to take either. The latest attacks come one day after the commander of pro-Kremlin rebels in the east, Denis Pushilin, encouraged Russian forces to "liberate Russian cities founded by the Russian people — Kyiv, Chernihiv, Poltava, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, and Lugansk."
According to the deputy governor of Ukraine's Kirovohrad region, Andriy Raikovich, five persons were killed, and 25 were injured in a Russian rocket attack on Kropvynytskyi, around 250 kilometers southeast of Kyiv. According to him, the attack harmed civilian aircraft by damaging air academy hangars.
According to the mayor, Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine, too came under a barrage of fire overnight. According to authorities, a police officer was killed when Russian forces shelled a power station in the Kharkiv region.
Also targeted was the southern city of Mykolaiv, where one person was reported hurt.
Wednesday, the Ukrainian military continued its onslaught in the Kherson region, destroying a crucial bridge over the Dnieper River.
According to Ukrainian media, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich stated that the operation to free Kherson had begun, with Kyiv's forces preparing to isolate Russian troops and give them three options: "retreat, surrender, or be destroyed."
The secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, warned that the Russians had initiated a massive military movement in Kherson, claiming they are concentrating their greatest strength in that direction.
According to the British military, Ukraine utilized its new, Western-supplied long-range artillery for damaging at least three of the Dnieper River bridges used by Russia to supply its forces.
In the previous 24 hours, the Russian shelling of cities and villages in the eastern Donetsk province has killed at least five civilians and wounded nine, according to the Ukrainian presidency.
Recent fighting has been concentrated in Donetsk province. Recently, it has worsened as Russian forces appear to have emerged from a purported "operational pause" following the capture of the neighboring Luhansk province.
Ukrainian emergency authorities said that a Russian bombing of the city of Toretsk resulted in the deaths of two civilians. According to officials, two stories of a residential structure were destroyed by a missile strike early Thursday morning.
"Missile fear once more. We will not surrender... Pavlo Kyrylenko, the regional governor of Donetsk, stated via Telegram that we would not be scared.
Military analysts think Russian forces are concentrating on taking the Donetsk region cities of Bakhmut and Siversk.
Zelensky established the Day of Statehood to remind Ukrainians of the country's history as an independent state. More than one thousand years ago, Prince Vladimir established Christianity as the official religion of the medieval realm of Kievan Rus.
In his Day of Statehood address, the president declared, "You could say that for us, every day is statehood day."
Zelensky stated, "We fight every day so that everyone on the planet can finally comprehend: We are not a colony or enclave or protectorate, not a province, an eyalet, or a crown land, not a part of foreign empires, not a part of a country, not a federal republic, not an autonomy, and not a province, but a free, independent, sovereign, indivisible, and independent state."
The Kremlin also lays claim to the Kyivan Rus legacy. Putin dedicated a memorial to Prince Vladimir in 2016 close to the Kremlin.