Russia claims to have targeted Western-supplied tanks in Kyiv airstrikes | Ukraine

Russia launched airstrikes on Kyiv on Sunday for the first time in five weeks, saying it had targeted tanks supplied by the West – while the Russian president, Vladimir Poutinewarned that more targets would be hit if arms deliveries continued.

Several explosions were heard in the eastern Kyiv suburbs of Darnytskyi and Dniprovskyi early Sunday morning, injuring one person. The strikes represented a change in tactics by the invading forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes destroyed T-72 tanks that had been supplied to Ukraine by European countries which were stored in the buildings of an auto repair company, although the claim could not immediately be verified.

Oleksandr Kamyshin, Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian Railways, said the Russian claims were false. “There are no such tanks at the factory, nor military equipment. Only cars we repair. Those wagons that we need for export – these are, in particular, grain cars,” he said.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said “one victim was hospitalized” in the incident. Sergei Leshchenko, a member of the Ukrainian railway company’s supervisory board, added that its facilities had been hit.

It was the first bombardment on any part of the capital since late April and appears to represent an attempt to hit Kyiv’s supply lines to the east, where the two sides are locked in an intense battle for control of Donbass.

Perhaps signaling the new approach, Putin told state television Rossiya that Russia would hit new targets in Ukraine if the United States delivers the longer-range rockets it promised in Kyiv last week.

Russia will hit harder if Ukraine receives longer-range missiles, Putin says – video

If such missiles were delivered, “we will hit the targets we haven’t hit yet,” said Putin, who would be closely involved in military decision-making. The Russian leader did not specify what would be hit, although logistics points would be among the most logical targets.

Russia has been angered by the US decision to supply Ukraine with Himars truck-mounted multiple launch rocket systems, with missiles with a range of around 20-40 miles, more than anything in Kyiv Arsenal.

“All this fuss over additional arms deliveries, in my opinion, has only one goal: to prolong the armed conflict as long as possible,” Putin said in his TV interview.

Ukraine and the West believe the rockets could help Kyiv prevent Russian forces from massing behind front lines for future attacks, but Putin argued it would bring no significant change to the military balance .

“We understand that this supply [of advance rocket systems] from the United States and some other countries is intended to compensate for the losses of this military equipment,” Putin said. “It’s not new. It doesn’t change anything fundamentally. »

Ukrainian nuclear energy company Energoatom also warned that a Russian cruise missile had come dangerously close to the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in the south of the country at around 5:30 a.m., apparently heading for Kyiv.

He said the missile was “flying at a critical height” above the site and Russian forces “still don’t understand that even the smallest fragment of a missile that can hit a functioning power unit can cause a nuclear catastrophe and a radiation leak”.

The last time Kyiv was hit was on April 28, when a Russian missile killed a US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty producer. Since then, Moscow has ignored the capital as it tries to drive Ukraine out of Donbass.

Great Britain The Department of Defense said that Ukrainian forces had counterattacked in Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, “probably blunting the operational momentum that Russian forces had previously gained” – but provided no assessment of whether the effort repelled the invaders.

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On Saturday, Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk province, said his country’s forces had recaptured around 20% of the Donbass city, which had been under attack sustained by concentrated Russian shelling and airstrikes.

Haidai repeated the claim on Sunday, adding that eight Russians had been taken prisoner and the occupiers had “lost a large number of personnel”. A humanitarian headquarters in nearby Lysychansk was hit by 30 shells overnight, the governor said.

Ukrainian police document the aftermath of a bombing in Lysychansk – video

Ukrainian forces “successfully slowed down Russian operations” in Donbass and carried out “effective local counterattacks in Sievierodonetsk”, says the Institute for the Study of Waran American think tank, overnight.

The research group, which is monitoring the fighting closely, said Russia “may still be able to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk” and it appeared “Ukrainian defenses remain strong in this pivotal theatre.”

The British Ministry of Defense said Russia was relying on “ill-equipped and poorly trained” separatist forces in Luhansk to carry out the cleansing of the city, a tactic it said had previously been employed by security forces. Moscow in Syria. “This approach probably indicates a desire to limit the losses suffered by Russian regular forces,” he added.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser has urged European nations to respond with ‘more sanctions, more weapons’ to missile attacks – and appeared to criticize French President Emmanuel Macron, who said in an interview Friday that Russia must not be humiliated in Ukraine so that a diplomatic solution can possibly be found.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the president’s office, tweeted: “As someone asks not to humiliate Russia, the Kremlin is resorting to new insidious attacks. Today’s missile strikes on Kyiv have only one goal: to kill as many Ukrainians as possible.

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