KYIV: Air raid sirens rang out across Ukraine on Thursday morning as Russia unleashed around 120 missiles in a savage barrage which targeted the capital Kyiv and several other major cities, media reports said.
"A massive air raid. More than 100 missiles in several waves," presidential office adviser Oleksiy Arestovych wrote on Facebook, while another adviser Mykhailo Podolyak claimed more than 120 missiles had been fired at Ukraine, Daily Mail reported.
Mayors of capital Kyiv, Ukraine's second city Kharkiv and the western city of Lviv all reported that Russian missiles had caused a series of explosions, while blasts were also heard in Zhytomyr, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk, according to local media reports.
The brutal blitz came hard on the heels of the Kremlin's rejection of a Ukrainian peace plan, as both Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov insisted that Kyiv accept Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions, Daily Mail reported.
Thursday's strikes in Kyiv evoked scenes reminiscent of the Second World War as thousands of people took to the metro tunnels beneath the city in search of shelter.
The Ukrainian Air Force said Russia first launched an assault of 'kamikaze' drones overnight before following it up with waves of air- and sea-based cruise missiles.
The widespread attack was the latest in a series of Russian strikes targeting vital infrastructure across Ukraine.
Moscow has launched such attacks on weekly basis since October, causing widespread blackouts and cutting water supplies.
Podolyak said that Russia was aiming to "destroy critical infrastructure and kill civilians en masse".
"We're waiting for further proposals from 'peacekeepers'," he wrote ironically on Twitter, Daily Mail reported.
Kharkiv's Governor Oleg Synegubov said "critical infrastructure" was targeted in the region and four missiles hit civilian neighbourhoods in the east and south of the city, while Kyiv's Vitali Klitschko claimed that "40 per cent of the capital's consumers are without electricity after the Russian attack".