Russia-Ukraine live updates: Russian missile strikes hit multiple Ukrainian cities

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(NEW YORK) — Russia has continued a nearly 19-month-long invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Recently, though, the Ukrainians have gone on a counteroffensive, fighting to reclaim occupied territory.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Sep 21, 5:54 AM EDT
Dozens of injuries reported after Russian strikes on multiple Ukrainian cities

Russian forces launched missile strikes on at least five Ukrainian cities from east to west late Wednesday and early Thursday, ahead of of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s planned meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C.

Ukrainian state-owned grid operator Ukrenergo said it’s the first major attack on the country’s energy infrastructure in six months.

The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was among the cities hit, along with Kharkiv, Kherson, Cherkasy, Rivne and Lviv.

Ukrainian authorities were still assessing the damage and casualties on Thursday morning, but dozens of injuries have been reported so far. At least seven people were injured by falling debris in Kyiv.

Meanwhile, rescue efforts were ongoing in the central city of Cherkasy to evacuate as many as 20 people believed to be trapped beneath the rubble of a hotel that was destroyed in the strikes overnight. Thirteen others were already rescued and at least nine were injured, according to Ukrainian officials

The overnight strikes also targeted energy infrastructure in the Rivne region and an industrial zone in the Lviv area.

Sep 21, 1:08 AM EDT
Russian forces strike Kharkiv, Kyiv overnight

Russian forces initiated six strikes on Kharkiv overnight, damaging civilian infrastructure, Ukrainian officials said early Thursday.

The mayor of Kyiv also said explosions occurred in the Ukrainian capital overnight. Debris from the downed rockets fell in the Darnytskyi and Holosiivskyi districts of the city.

Five people were hurt in the Darnytskyi district of Kyiv, where the strike also destroyed non-residential buildings. Three of them, including a 9-year-old girl, were hospitalized. Two were treated by medics on scene.

In the Shevchenkivskyi district of Kyiv, rocket debris damaged a gas pipe, an official said.

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