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Ukraine claims downing 60+ Russian missiles, as Russia hits Ukraine power grid

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows missile batteries deployed at a Ukrainian air defense facility.

Ukraine has claimed to have shot down scores of incoming Russian missiles fired against the ex-Soviet republic during Moscow's ongoing military campaign there.

The Ukrainian air force made the claim on Monday, saying it had intercepted over 60 of more than 70 missiles that were fired against different locations throughout the country during the day.

Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff, confirmed the battlefield development on Telegram.

Officials in Kiev also said the Ukrainian air defenses had brought down nine out of 10 missiles that were fired towards the capital.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, likewise, told Ukrainians that the country had "shot down most of the missiles."

This came after Russia fired a large number of long-range missiles on Ukraine, killing two people and causing power outages.

Moscow has been targeting Ukraine's power grid in intense waves of attacks since October, and state energy company, Ukrenergo, which operates the national power grid, said more infrastructure were hit on Monday

Officials in the eastern Ukrainian region of Sumy and the southern regions of Odessa and Mykolaiv said residents were being subjected to disruptions in water, power or heating supplies as a result of the strikes.

"There are already strikes on energy infrastructure facilities and subsequently emergency power outages," Ukrenergo confirmed in a statement.

Media reports allege that nearly half Ukraine's energy system has been damaged after months of strikes on power infrastructure.

Russia started its "special military operation" in its eastern neighbor in late February in order to defend the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev.

Back in 2014, the two republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.

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