At least 25 people were killed, according to Ukrainian officials, when Russian forces launched a barrage of missile strikes on cities throughout Ukraine on Friday.

Why it’s important Its first missile attacks on Kiev since early March, this is Russia’s largest wave of airstrikes in almost two months. The bombardment occurs as Ukraine gears up for its eagerly anticipated springtime counteroffensive.

Bringing you the news At least 23 people, including four children, were killed in an attack on a residential building in the city of Uman, according to a Telegram post from Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In Dnipro, a 2-year-old girl and her mother were killed after a missile struck a house, regional governor Serhiy Lysak said.

Ukrainian forces successfully shot down 21 of the 23 cruise missiles launched by Russia as well as two drones, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, wrote in a Telegram post.

Eleven missiles and two drones were shot down over the Kyiv region, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram.

The big picture: Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told an online news briefing Friday that Ukrainian forces are “to a high percentage ready” to launch their counter-offensive, Reuters reported.

“As soon as there is God’s will, the weather and a decision by commanders, we will do it,” he added.