Russia launched airstrikes on Kyiv for the first time in five weeks on Sunday, claiming to have targeted tanks with Western equipment – while the Russian president said, Russian President Vladimir Putinwarned that more targets would be hit if arms deliveries continued.
Several explosions were heard around the eastern Kyiv suburbs of Darnitsky and Dniprovsky in the early hours of Sunday morning, injuring one person. The strikes represented a change of course on the part of the invading forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes destroyed the T-72 tanks supplied to it Ukraine By European countries it was stockpiled on the premises of an auto repair company, although the claim could not be verified immediately.
Oleksandr Kamyshin, chairman of the Ukrainian Railways Board of Directors, said the Russian allegations were false. There are no such tanks at the plant, as well as no military equipment. There are only cars that we repair. These wagons we need for export – these are especially grain wagons.”
“One victim has been taken to hospital” in the accident, said the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko. Sergei Leshchenko, a member of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Railways, added that its facilities were bombed.
These were the first bombing raids on any part of the capital since the end of April and appeared to represent an attempt to hit supply lines from Kyiv to the east, with both sides engaged in a fierce battle for control of Donbass.
Referring to the new approach, Putin told Russia’s state television that Russia would strike new targets in Ukraine if the United States delivered the long-range missiles promised to Kyiv last week.
“We will hit those targets that we have not yet set,” said Putin, who believes that he is closely involved in military decision-making, if such missiles are provided. The Russian leader did not specify what would be hit, although logistical points would be among the most logical targets.
Russia was alarmed by the US decision to supply Ukraine with the Himar truck-mounted multiple launch missile systems, with missiles with a range of 20 to 40 miles, larger than anything in the Kyiv armory.
“All this fuss about additional shipments of weapons, in my opinion, has only one goal: to prolong the armed conflict as much as possible,” Putin said in his television interview.
Ukraine and the West believe the missiles can help Kyiv prevent Russian forces from gathering behind the front lines for future attacks, but Putin said they would not make any significant change in the military balance.
“We understand that this offer [of advance rocket systems] The United States and some other countries aimed to compensate for the losses of this military equipment. “This is nothing new. It does not change anything of substance.”
Ukrainian nuclear energy company Energoatom also warned that a Russian cruise missile dangerously approached the Pvdnoukrainsk nuclear power plant, in the south of the country, at about 5.30 am, apparently heading for Kyiv.
It said the missile “flew at a very low altitude” over the site and that Russian forces “still do not understand that even the smallest part of a missile that can hit a working power unit can cause a nuclear catastrophe and a radioactive leak.”
The last time Kyiv was bombed was on April 28, when a Russian missile killed a producer working for the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Since then Moscow has ignored the capital as it tries to drive Ukraine out of Donbass.
Britain Ministry of Defense said That Ukrainian forces had launched a counterattack at Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, “likely to weaken the operational momentum previously gained by Russian forces”—but provided no assessment of whether the efforts were pushing the invaders back.
On Saturday, Serhiy Haiday, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk province, said his country’s forces have retaken about 20% of Donbass city, which has been under days of continuous attack due to bombing and focused Russian air strikes.
Hayday repeated the claim on Sunday, adding that eight Russians had been captured and that the occupiers had “lost a large number of people”. The governor said that a humanitarian aid headquarters in neighboring Lysekhansk was hit by 30 shells overnight.
Ukrainian forces had “succeeded in slowing down Russian operations” in the Donbass and were conducting “effective local counterattacks in Severodonetsk”, Institute for the Study of War saidUS think tank, overnight.
The research group, which is closely monitoring the fighting, said that Russia “may still be able to capture Severodonetsk and Lysichansk” and that “Ukrainian defenses remain strong in this pivotal theater”.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia was relying on “poorly equipped and trained” separatist forces from Luhansk to clear the city, a tactic it said Russian forces had previously used in Syria. “This approach likely indicates a desire to limit the losses suffered by the regular Russian forces,” she added.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser urged European countries to respond with “more sanctions, more weapons” to the missile attacks – and appeared to criticize French President Emmanuel Macron, who said in an interview On Friday, Russia must not be humiliated in Ukraine until a diplomatic solution can finally be found.
Mikhailo Podolak, adviser to the chief of staff of the president’s office, tweeted: “While someone is asking not to humiliate Russia, the Kremlin is resorting to new malicious attacks. Today’s missile strikes on Kyiv have only one goal – to kill as many Ukrainians as possible.”
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