Thursday’s blitz came after Russia rejected a peace plan put forward by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy’s 10-point proposal calls for Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and withdraw all of its troops from his country.

But the Kremlin insists that Kyiv must accept Russia’s annexation of four partly occupied Ukrainian regions – Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizhia in the south

which Moscow unilaterally claimed as its own in September. Russia also says Ukraine must accept the loss of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Russia’s war in Ukraine, the largest in Europe since World War II, has killed tens of thousands of people, driven millions from their homes and reduced vast swaths of the country to rubble.

Kyiv has pleaded with its Western allies to provide it with additional air defences. Ukraine’s foremost backer, the United States

The United States recently agreed to supply it with the highly sought-after Patriot missile defence system.