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Russia strikes Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns the West about weapons

Kyiv – Russia focused on Western military supplies to Ukraine on Sunday, launching air strikes on Kyiv, which it claims destroyed tanks donated from abroad, as Vladimir Putin warned that any Western supplies of missile systems with larger range will make Moscow hit “objects we have” not yet hit. “

The Russian leader’s secret threat of military escalation does not specify what the new targets could be. This came days after the United States announced plans to deliver $ 700 million in security aid to Ukraine, which includes four precision medium-range missile systems, as well as helicopters, Javelin anti-tank systems, radars, tactical vehicles and more.

Military analysts say Russia hopes to conquer Ukraine’s eastern Donbass industrial region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian government since 2014, before any US weapons could backfire. The Pentagon said last week that it would take at least three weeks to bring US weapons to the battlefield.

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Ukraine says missiles aimed at the capital have hit a train station. Elsewhere, Russian airstrikes in the eastern town of Druzhkivka destroyed buildings and left at least one person dead, a Ukrainian official said. Residents described waking up to the sound of rocket fire, with rubble and glass falling around them.

“It was like a horror movie,” said Svetlana Romashkina.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said precision air-launched missiles were used to destroy workshops in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, including Druzhkovka, which were repairing damaged Ukrainian military equipment.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian forces had fired five X-22 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea to Kyiv, and one had been destroyed by the air defenses. Four other missiles hit “infrastructure”, but Ukraine said there were no casualties.

The operator of the Energoatom nuclear power plant said a cruise missile was buzzing near the Yuzhnoukrainsk nuclear power plant, 350km (220 miles) south, looking en route to Kyiv. He warns of the possibility of a nuclear accident if even a fragment of a missile hits the facility.

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The missiles that hit Kyiv destroyed T-72 tanks delivered from Eastern European countries and other armored vehicles, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a telegram.

Subsequently, the railway authorities of Ukraine led reporters on a tour with a guide to a plant for the repair of rail cars in eastern Kyiv, which they said was hit by four missiles. Authorities said no military equipment was stored there and Associated Press reporters did not see any remains in the facility’s destroyed building.

“There were no tanks and you can just witness that.” said Sergei Leshchenko, an adviser in the office of the Ukrainian president.

However, a government adviser said on national television that military infrastructure had also been targeted. AP reporters saw a building burning in an area near the destroyed railroad car plant. Two residents of the neighborhood said the smokehouse structure, from which smoke was rising, was part of a tank repair facility. Police blocking access to the site told an AP reporter that military authorities had banned photography there.

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In a televised interview Sunday, Putin focused on Western arms supplies to Ukraine, saying they were aimed at prolonging the war.

“All this turmoil over additional arms supplies, I think, has only one goal: to prolong the armed conflict as much as possible,” Putin said. He insisted that such supplies were unlikely to change the military situation for the Ukrainian government, which he said only offset losses from such missiles.

If Kyiv receives longer-range missiles, he added, Moscow will “draw the appropriate conclusions and use our abundant means of destruction to strike at targets we have not yet struck.”

The United States has stopped offering Ukraine longer-range weapons that could fire deep into Russia. But the four medium-range, high-range artillery missile systems in the security package include wheeled launchers that allow troops to hit a target and then retreat quickly – which could be useful against Russian artillery on the battlefield.

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The Spanish daily El Pais reported on Sunday that Spain plans to deliver anti-aircraft missiles and up to 40 Leopard 2 A4 battle tanks to Ukraine. The Spanish Ministry of Defense did not comment on the report.

Prior to Sunday’s attack early Sunday morning, Kyiv had not faced such Russian air strikes since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ April 28 visit. The attack sparked airstrikes and showed that Russia still has the ability and desire to strike the heart of Ukraine, despite redirecting its efforts to seize Ukrainian territory to the east.

In recent days, Russian forces have focused on capturing the eastern Ukrainian cities of Severodonetsk and Lisichansk. On Sunday, they continued their pressure with rocket and air strikes on towns and villages in Donbass.

In the cities of Slavyansk and Bakhmut, cars and military vehicles were spotted speeding towards the city from the front line. Dozens of military doctors and ambulances worked to evacuate civilians and Ukrainian servicemen, and a hospital was busy treating the wounded, many of whom were wounded by artillery fire.

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The UK military said in a daily intelligence update that Ukraine’s counterattacks in Severodonetsk “probably blunt the operational momentum of Russian forces, previously accumulated through the concentration of troops and firepower.” Russian forces have previously made a series of advances in the city, but Ukrainian fighters have withdrawn in recent days.

The statement also said that the Russian military relied in part on the reserve forces of the Luhansk separatists.

“These troops are poorly equipped and trained and lack heavy equipment compared to regular Russian units,” the intelligence update said, adding that the move “shows a desire to limit the casualties suffered by regular Russian forces.”

Both sides in the conflict are waging an information war, especially on television, along with military attacks. Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had cut off a television service in Donetsk, where a broadcasting tower had collapsed. Ukrainian authorities did not immediately confirm the attack.

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In the port of Mariupol in the Sea of ​​Azov, which Russia claims took over in May after a brutal monthly siege, an aide to the mayor said the water supply, contaminated with decaying corpses and rubbish, causes dysentery and threatens cholera and other diseases.

In a statement provided by the Ukrainian news agency Unian, Petro Andryushchenko said Russian authorities controlling the city had imposed quarantine. He did not describe what measures the Russian authorities have involved and his report cannot be confirmed independently.

World Health Organization officials warned last month of the threat of cholera and other infectious diseases in Mariupol.

Also Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky traveled to the Zaporozhye region in the southeast, which is partially under Russian control. He received a combat report, thanked the troops and met with refugees in what was only his second public visit outside the Kyiv region since the start of the war.

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Away from the battlefield, Ukraine’s national footballers failed to qualify for the World Cup, losing 1-0 to Wales in an emotionally charged match in Cardiff. At home, some Ukrainians gathered in bars to watch the match.

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Associated Press reporters David Keaton and Hannah Archirova in Kyiv contributed to the report.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Russia strikes Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns the West about weapons

Source link Russia strikes Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns the West about weapons

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