Kiev repels new air attacks…Moscow announces thwarting targeting in Crimea
On Sunday, the Russians and Ukrainians exchanged shelling and accusations of targeting civilian areas, and Moscow asked the residents of border areas to leave as a result of the military operations, while Kiev confirmed that it had repulsed the air attacks that targeted it at night, noting at the same time that a little girl was killed, and about twenty people were injured as a result of a missile. Russian fell on a residential building in the Dnipro region.
Ukrainian authorities said that Russia launched a wave of air strikes on Ukraine on Sunday morning, hitting an airport in the center of the country, but failed to hit the capital, Kiev.
Yuri Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, told local television that four of the six cruise missiles were shot down by the air defenses, but two of them hit one of the “operational airfields” near the city of Kropivnitsky in the center of the country. He added that two Iranian-made drones out of five launched by Russia hit infrastructure facilities in the Sumy region, in the north of the country.
And officials in Kiev said that the air defenses “dropped all the projectiles that targeted the capital before they reached the city.”
Russia has intensified its attacks on the Ukrainian capital since last May, especially at night, while Ukrainian officials say: “It is an attempt to break morale before an expected counterattack by Ukraine” to restore the territories occupied by Russia.
“For the second night, the people of Kiev do not hear the sounds of explosions in the sky,” Serhiy Popko, the head of a local military administration, said on the Telegram application. But witnesses said they heard several explosions in the Kiev region, while sirens wailed across Ukraine for nearly three hours warning of airstrikes.
And before that, it was reported that rescue workers in the city of Dnipro, in southeastern Ukraine, managed to pull out several injured people from under the rubble of an apartment building after it was subjected to a Russian attack on Saturday, according to what the Ukrainian authorities announced. On Sunday morning, the Ukrainian authorities said that a two-year-old girl was killed in the attack, and 22 other people, including five children, were injured.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, in Kiev on Saturday evening, that “Russia has once again shown that it is a terrorist state. Unfortunately, there are people under the rubble.”
The Ukrainian president posted a video showing the two-storey building completely destroyed. He said that a missile hit the area between two two-storey residential buildings. Sirens of an air attack sounded in the area shortly before. “The Russians will bear responsibility for everything they have done to our state and our people,” the Ukrainian president added.
Earlier Saturday, Zelensky said he believed the country was ready to launch a long-awaited counteroffensive to liberate its territory from Russian occupation. “In my opinion, starting today, we are ready to do that,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, which was also published by the American newspaper as a video on its website.
Zelensky added that Ukraine “would have wanted to get weapons to attack the Russian invasion, but it could not wait a few more months.”
According to the newspaper, Zelensky said, “We strongly believe that we will succeed. I don’t know how long it will take.” He added that the price of success would be high.
In addition, the Ukrainian armed forces reported Sunday that clashes continued around the ruined city of Bakhmut in the east of the country, although the fighting has subsided recently, while Moscow continues to suffer heavy losses.
The Ukrainian Supreme Military Command stated in its daily report, “The Russian forces carried out two failed operations around Bakhmut, and launched a number of air strikes and artillery attacks on nearby villages.” But the commander of the ground forces, Oleksandr Sersky, said on Saturday that the Ukrainian forces were continuing to fight there.
“The enemy continues to suffer heavy losses on the way towards Bakhmut. Defense forces continue to fight. We will win.”
And the Ukrainian daily report announced that about 23 clashes took place on Saturday in the Donetsk region, where Bakhmut is located, and the neighboring Luhansk region, which together form the Donbass region.
A statement issued by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on its page on the social networking site “Facebook” and reported by the Ukrainian National News Agency (Ukrinform) on Sunday, stated that, “In the past 24 hours, the enemy launched two missile attacks on the Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions, in particular, using Missile system (Iskander). One of them hit the outskirts of the city of Dnipro, causing damage to a two-storey residential building, and injuring more than 20 civilians, including children. “In addition, the enemy launched 30 air raids and 56 multiple-launch missile systems attacks on the positions of our forces and populated settlements,” the commission said.
On the other hand, the authority stated that the Ukrainian Air Force “launched 11 air raids on the areas of concentration of enemy personnel, in addition to 6 air raids on enemy anti-aircraft missile systems.” It said: “The Ukrainian Air Defense Forces destroyed six enemy reconnaissance drones, in addition to two aircraft.” Two Lancet fighter marches… Missile and artillery units hit an enemy command center, an anti-aircraft missile system, six artillery units in firing positions, and three ammunition depots.
The authority added, “The enemy continues to focus its main efforts on attempts to occupy the entire Luhansk and Donetsk regions. During the past 24 hours, 23 combat clashes took place.
On the other hand, the Russian authorities on Sunday called on residents of the western Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine to leave their homes following the intensification of the Ukrainian bombing this week.
The region’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, urged residents to cooperate with the authorities and evacuate the area, which was subjected to daily bombardment, killing many civilians and prompting residents to flee.
Gladkov said via “Telegram”: “I ask the residents of the villages, especially in the Chebykino area, which was bombed, to listen to the authorities’ directives, and to leave their homes temporarily.” The goal, he emphasized, is to “protect what matters most: your life and the lives of your loved ones.” And he stated that the area witnessed another “unquiet” night and “extreme damage.” Gladkov spoke a day after the bombing killed two women in border villages. He said that “more than 4,000 people” from the border regions were currently staying in temporary housing in the Belgorod region.
He emphasized that the authorities are transferring minors from border villages, and children of soldiers fighting in Ukraine to youth camps.
In the midst of this, the leader of the “Wagner” group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, accused the Russian Ministry of Defense of failing. Saturday said: «The ministry is unable to do anything. There is chaos in the ministry. He announced that he himself would march into the region with his forces if the Russian army did not impose order there “as soon as possible.” He said: «There is already an occupation of the region, and peaceful people are dying. They need protection, and we will not wait for an invitation.”
Prigozhin defended his criticism of the Russian Defense Ministry and sectors in the Kremlin in a lengthy speech via Telegram.
In turn, Sergey Aksionov, who was appointed by Moscow as governor of Crimea, said on Sunday that five drones were shot down over the city of Djankoy on the peninsula, and that four were jammed and did not hit their targets. He added, “There were no casualties, but windows were shattered in several houses.”
He stated that an unexploded drone was found on the land of a house, which caused the temporary evacuation of 50 people from the area.
Russia has a military air base near Djankoy. Ukrainian officials have been saying that the city and its surroundings have turned into Moscow’s largest military base in Crimea.