Russia hits Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns West on arms
KYIV Ukraine — Russia launched airstrikes Sunday on Kyiv. It claimed that it had destroyed tanks from abroad. Vladimir Putin warned that any Western deliveries longer-range rocket systems to Moscow would cause Moscow to strike “objects that haven’t yet been struck .”
The Russian leader’s cryptic threat for military escalation didn’t specify the new targets. The attack came just days after the United States announced plans for $700 millions of security assistance to Ukraine. This includes four precision-guided medium-range rocket systems as well as helicopters and Javelin anti-tank system, radars, tactical vehicles, and more.
Military experts believe Russia wants to take over Ukraine’s eastern industrial Donbas, where Russia-backed separatists have fought against the Ukrainian government since 2014, prior to any U.S. weapons that could turn the tide. According to the Pentagon, it will take at most three weeks for the U.S. weapons to reach the battlefield.
Ukraine stated that the missiles aimed towards the capital hit a train shop. A Ukrainian official stated that Russian airstrikes had also struck the eastern city Druzhkivka, causing destruction of buildings and at least one death. Residents described hearing the sound of missile strikes and seeing rubble and glass fall around them.
” It was like a horror movie,” Svitlana Romaashkina stated. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that precision missiles launched from the air were used to destroy workshops in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. These were said to be repairing damaged military equipment.
The General Staff of Ukraine stated that Russian forces launched five X -22 missiles from the Caspian Sea towards Kyiv. One was destroyed by air defenses. The missiles also hit “infrastructure installations”, but Ukraine claimed there were no casualties.
Nuclear facility operator Energoatom stated that one cruise missile passed close to the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear plant, 350 km miles) to its south, and was apparently on its way to Kyiv. It warned of the danger of nuclear catastrophe if any missile fragments were to hit the facility.
The missiles that hit Kyiv destroyed the T -72 tanks provided by Eastern European countries as well as other armored vehicles. This was according to the Russian Defense Ministry on the Telegram app. The railway authority of Ukraine led reporters through a tour of an eastern Kyiv rail car repair facility that was damaged by four missiles. According to the authority, no military equipment was stored at the site and Associated Press reporters did not see any remnants of any in its destroyed building.
” “There were no tanks, and it is possible to just witness this,” said Serhiy Lechenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s president.
A government adviser stated on national television that the military infrastructure was also targeted. AP reporters witnessed a burning building in the vicinity of the demolished rail car plant. Two residents in the area claimed that the warehouse-like structure that emitted smoke was part of a tank repair facility. An AP reporter was told by police that they had blocked access to the site. They also claimed that the military had prohibited the taking of photographs there. In a Sunday television interview, Putin blasted the Western delivery of weapons to Ukraine and stated that they are trying to prolong war.
“All the fuss about additional weapons deliveries has, in my view, only one goal: To prolong the armed conflict as far as possible.” Putin stated. He said that such supplies would not change the military situation in Ukraine, and that they were merely compensating for the loss of similar rockets.
If Kyiv receives longer-range missiles, he said, Moscow would “draw appropriate conclusions” and use its means of destruction to strike at objects that have not yet been struck .”
The U.S. has not offered Ukraine longer-range weapons that could be fired deep into Russia. The four medium-range High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems included in the security package also include launchers on wheels that allow troops the ability to strike a target and then move away quickly — which could prove useful against Russian artillery.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Sunday, that Spain was planning to supply anti-aircraft rockets and up to 40 Leopard II A4 battle tanks to Ukraine. The report was not commented on by the Ministry of Defense of Spain.
Kyiv hadn’t been subject to such Russian airstrikes before Sunday’s early-morning attack. This was in spite of the fact that U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited Kyiv in April 28. The attack set off air-raid alarms, and showed that Russia had the ability and willingness to strike at Ukraine’s heart despite having refocused its efforts to seize Ukrainian territory to the east.
In recent days, Russian forces have been focusing on the capture of Ukraine’s eastern cities Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. They continued their push on Sunday with missile and airstrikes against cities and villages in Donbas.
Cars and military vehicles were seen speeding through the city of Sloviansk, Bakhmut, in the direction of the frontline. A number of paramedic ambulances and military doctors were on hand to assist civilians and Ukrainian soldiers. A hospital was busy with treating those injured by artillery shelling.
The U.K. military stated in its daily intelligence updates that Ukrainian counterattacks in Sieverodonetsk were likely to “lower the operational momentum Russian forces previously achieved through concentrating combat troops and firepower.” While Russian forces had previously made a series of advances in the city, the Ukrainian fighters have resisted in recent days. The statement also stated that Russia’s military relied partly on the reserve forces of Luhansk separatists.
“These troops are poorly equipped and trained, and lack heavy equipment in comparison to regular Russian units,” the intelligence update said, adding that the move “indicates a desire to limit casualties suffered by regular Russian forces.”
Both sides in the conflict have been waging an information war, especially on television, along with military attacks. Russian news agency Tass reported Sunday that Ukrainian forces had shut down broadcast TV service in Donetsk. It claimed that a broadcast tower was being toppled. The attack was not confirmed by the Ukrainian authorities immediately.
In Mariupol’s Azov Sea port, Russia claimed to have captured in May after a brutal month-long siege. A mayoral aide stated that water supplies were contaminated with garbage and decomposing corpses, causing dysentery, and posing a risk of cholera and other illnesses.
In comments made by Ukraine’s Unian news agency Petro Andriushchenko, he said that Russian authorities have placed a quarantine in the city. He didn’t describe the measures taken by Russian authorities and his report couldn’t be independently verified.
World Health Organization officials have warned about the danger of cholera in Mariupol.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskyy visited the Zaporizhzhia area in the southeast, which is partially under Russian control. In his second visit outside of the Kyiv region since the war, he received a battle report and thanked troops.
Ukraine’s national soccer team lost 1-0 to Wales in a highly charged match in Cardiff. They missed qualifying for the World Cup. Some Ukrainians returned home to watch the match from bars.
Associated Press journalists David Keyton and Hanna Arhirova in Kyiv contributed to this report.
Follow AP’s coverage of the Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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