KYIV, Ukraine –
Russia aims to supply Western military supplies to the Ukrainian government, with an air strike in Kiev on Sunday morning claiming that it destroyed tanks donated by foreigners. We haven’t attacked yet. “
The cryptocurrency threat from Russia’s military leader did not specify what the new targets might be, but it comes days after the United States announced plans to provide $ 700 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including four precision-guided, medium. – Range rocket systems, helicopters, spear anti-tank weapon systems, radar, strategic vehicles, spare parts and more.
Military analysts say Russia hopes to defeat the conflict-torn eastern Donbass region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian government for years, before any weapons arrive. The Pentagon said earlier this week that it would take at least three weeks to bring US weapons and trained troops to the battlefield.
Russian forces stormed railway facilities and other infrastructure in Kiev on Sunday morning, which had seen a terrible calm the previous week. Ukraine’s nuclear plant operator, Energoatom, said a cruise missile on its way to the capital, about 350 kilometers (220 miles) south, crashed into the Pivadenokrunsk nuclear plant – citing the threat of a near miss.
There was no immediate word from Ukraine on whether the Russian airstrikes destroyed the tanks.
Kiev has not faced any such attack since April 28, when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived. The early morning attack triggered an air strike alarm and showed that Russia still had the capability and willingness to strike at the heart of Ukraine to abandon its wide-ranging offensive in the country and focus on the East.
Posting on the Telegram app, the Russian Defense Ministry said that high-precision, long-range air-to-air missiles were used. The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a convoy carrying T-72 tanks supplied by Eastern European countries and other armored vehicles in the car repair business.
Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of civilians and troops, displaced millions, imposed heavy sanctions on Putin’s government and allies, and cut off important wheat and other food exports from Ukraine across the Black Sea. Ports – restricting access to bread and other products in Africa, the Middle East and beyond.
In a televised interview on Sunday, Putin criticized Ukraine for its western delivery of weapons and said it was aimed at prolonging the conflict.
“All this fuss about the delivery of additional weapons, in my opinion, has the same goal: to drag out the armed conflict as much as possible,” Putin said, referring to US plans to supply multi-launch rocket systems in Kiev. He stressed that such supplies were unlikely to change much for the Ukrainian government, which he said had only a deficit of the same range of rockets it already had.
If Kiev receives long-range rockets, he added, Moscow will “draw appropriate conclusions and use our means of destruction, which we have ample, to strike at objects we have not yet struck.”
The missiles struck Kiev’s Darnitsky and Niprovsky districts, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said in a telegram message application, disrupting the Kremlin’s recent goal of capturing the entire Donbass. Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian army in Donbass for eight years, establishing a self-proclaimed republic.
In recent days, the Russian military has focused on capturing the city of Sivirodonetsk.
The smoke column in Kiev’s East Darnist district filled the air with a pungent odor, and burned, blackened rubble of a warehouse-type structure was emitting smoke. Police near the scene told an Associated Press reporter that military officials had banned photography. The soldiers also blocked the road near a large railway yard.
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a restaurant belonging to the state-owned railway company Ukrajalyznitsia, Serhi Leschenko, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, told the Telegram. Cruise missiles appear to have been launched from a Tu-95 bomber flying over the Caspian Sea, Air Force Command said on Facebook. It said air defense units fired a missile.
Energoatom said a cruise missile came dangerously close to the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant. It said the missile “flew seriously” and that Russian forces “still do not realize that even a small piece of missile capable of striking a working force unit could cause a nuclear catastrophe and radiation leak.”
Elsewhere, as Russian forces continued their push for land in eastern Ukraine, launching missile and air strikes on towns and villages in the Luhansk region, the war has now crossed the 100-day mark.
The governor of Luhansk, Sergei Haidai, told the Telegram that “Russian Ka-52 helicopters had landed and air strikes were carried out by Su-25 aircraft in the area of Mirna Dolina – Ustynivka,” while Lysychansk was hit by a missile fired from Tochka-U. Complex
A total of 13 houses were damaged in Girske and five in Lisichansk. Its mayor, Alexander Goncharenko, reportedly carried out another airstrike in the eastern city of Kramatorsk. No one was killed in the attack, he said, but two enterprises in the city suffered “significant damage.”
On Sunday morning, Ukraine’s general staff accused the Russian military of using phosphorus weapons in the village of Cherkasky Tiski in the Kharkiv region. The claim could not be independently verified.
The update also confirmed the strikes in Kiev, which took place in the early hours of Sunday. It was not immediately clear what infrastructure was affected in Kiev.
The General Staff said Russian forces were continuing their offensive in Siviarodonesk, one of the two remaining major cities to occupy the Luhansk region of Donbass. The Russians have taken control of the eastern part of the city, the update said, and are focusing on trying to encircle Ukrainian forces in the area and “blocking the main logistics routes.”
The British military said in a daily intelligence update that Ukrainian counter-attacks in Sverdlovsk had “probably undermined the operational momentum that Russian forces had previously gained through concentrated combat units and firepower.” Earlier, Russian troops were advancing on the city, but in recent days Ukrainian fighters have pushed back.
The statement added that Russia’s army was partly dependent on separatist reserves in the Luhansk region.
“These armies are less well-equipped and trained, and lack heavy equipment compared to regular Russian units,” the intelligence update said.
Away from the battlefield, Ukraine’s national football players are hoping to secure a place in the World Cup when they play Wales in Cardiff on Sunday.
On the diplomatic front, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was heading to Serbia for talks with President Alexander Vukik earlier this week, then visiting Turkey on Tuesday, where the Russian ambassador is expected to discuss Ukraine with his Turkish counterpart.
Turkey has been working with the United Nations and warring nations to help pave the way for Ukrainian grain to be exported to Turkish ports, although no agreement has been reached.
The Ukrainian presidential adviser called on European nations to respond to Sunday’s missile attack with “more sanctions, more weapons”.
Mikhail Podolik quoted French President Emmanuel Macron as saying on Friday that Putin had made a “historic mistake” in invading Ukraine, but that world powers should not “insult” Russia in order to find a diplomatic solution when the war ends.
Ukrainian officials said Ukraine and Russia had exchanged bodies of soldiers killed this week, in the first officially confirmed swap. For the reunification of the occupied territories of Ukraine, the ministry said on Saturday that each side had exchanged 1,160,000 bodies on the front lines in the southern Zaporizhiya region, some of which are under Russian control. Russian officials have not commented on the exchange.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis made his strongest call for a ceasefire and peace talks in Ukraine, urging leaders: “Please, do not destroy the world. Do not ruin the world.” During his traditional Sunday blessing from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, he urged leaders to listen to the “desperate cries of the victims” more than 100 days after the Russian invasion.