Russian long-range cruise missiles target space rocket plant in Ukraine

Russian long-range cruise missiles killed three people in Ukraine’s central city of Dnipro when they hit a space rocket plant and a nearby street, local officials say.

About 15 people were injured and nearby residential buildings damaged.

Dnipro’s Yuzhmash plant also builds satellites – with one launched into space by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.

Russia’s defence ministry said the factory made parts for Ukrainian ballistic missiles.

Another two people died when dozens of Russian rockets were fired at Nikopol, south of Dnipro, a regional leader said.

And in the north, Russian rockets hit housing overnight in Chuhuiv, a town near the city of Kharkiv, killing three people, the Kharkiv governor said.

Russia’s ground offensive in the east has slowed down and there has been an increase in the number of attacks from the air.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered his forces to step up their operations in Ukraine, to prevent Ukrainian artillery and missile strikes on Russian-controlled areas. He was speaking to the military in areas they control in Ukraine, Russian media reported.

In a Facebook post, Dnipro mayor Borys Filatov urged civilians to leave the city. “There is no room for women, children and the elderly, and those who can and want to leave – leave,” he said.

“They destroyed the airport several times with missiles, hit all the outskirts of the city, shot at the bridge right in the centre, bombed the oil depot and service station, but citizens stubbornly continued to ignore the air raid sirens,” he complained.

“After the tragedies of Kremenchuk and Vinnytsia, I really hoped that at least someone would come to their senses.”