KYIV, Ukraine -- Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West not to send longer-range missile systems to Ukraine. His forces claimed that they had destroyed Western military supplies during their first airstrikes against Ukraine's capital in over a month.
The attack demonstrated that Russia was still able and willing to strike at Ukraine's heart, even though it refocused its efforts to seize territory to the east.
In a Sunday TV interview, Putin said that the U.S. plans to provide $700 million in security assistance for Ukraine. This includes four medium-range, precision-guided rocket systems as well as helicopters and Javelin antitank systems. It also included radars, tactical vehicles, and radars.
Putin stated that "all this fuss about additional weapons deliveries, in my view, has only one purpose: to drag out any armed conflict as far as possible." Putin said that such supplies would not change Ukraine's military situation. He claimed they were merely compensating for the loss of similar rockets.
Putin said that if Kyiv receives longer-range rockets, Moscow would "draw appropriate conclusions" and use its many means of destruction to strike at the objects we haven’t yet struck.
The U.S. has not offered Ukraine long-range weapons that could be fired deep into Russia.
According to military analysts, Russia wants to take control of Ukraine's eastern industrial Donbas before any U.S. weapons arrive. According to the Pentagon, it will take at most three weeks for the U.S. weapons to reach the battlefield. Since 2014, Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine have been fighting the Ukrainian government in the Donbas.
Moscow also accused West of cutting off communication lines by forcing Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia to cancel his trip to Serbia Monday for talks.
In comments made by Russian news agencies, Maria Zakharova, a ministry spokeswoman, said that Serbia's neighbours had closed their airspace for Lavrov's plane. Vecernje Novosti, a Serbian newspaper, had earlier stated that Lavrov's plane would not be allowed to enter.
Zakharova stated, "This is another closed channel for communication."
According to the Russian Defense Ministry on Telegram, the missiles that hit Ukraine's capital Kyiv on Sunday destroyed T72 tanks from Eastern European countries as well as other armored vehicles.
However, Ukraine claimed that the missiles struck a train shop. The Ukrainian railway authority took reporters on a guided tour through the repair facility in eastern Kyiv, which it claimed was struck 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 it in the destroyed building.
"There weren't tanks and you can witness this," Serhiy Lechenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian president, stated.
A government advisor said that the military infrastructure was also targeted. AP reporters witnessed a burning building in the vicinity of the railcar 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 location because military officials had prohibited the taking of photographs there.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, precision missiles launched from air were also used to destroy Ukrainian workshops in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.
According to the General Staff of Ukraine, Russian forces launched five X-22 cruise missiles over the Caspian Sea towards Kyiv. One was also destroyed by air defenses. The missiles also hit "infrastructure installations", but Ukraine claimed there were no casualties.
Prior to Sunday's attack in the early morning, Kyiv hadn't been subjected to any Russian airstrikes ever since U.N Secretary General Antonio Guterres' April 28 visit.
Russian forces were still focused on the capture of Ukraine's eastern cities, Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. From the direction of the frontline, cars and military vehicles were seen driving into towns west of these cities in Sloviansk, Bakhmut and Lysychansk. Paramedic ambulances and military doctors were on hand to help civilians and Ukrainian soldiers who had been wounded by artillery shelling.
In its daily intelligence update, the U.K. military stated that Ukrainian counterattacks in Sieverodonetsk "likely blunt the operational momentum Russian forces previously acquired through concentrating combat units firepower and combat units." Russian forces had made a series of advances in the city but Ukrainian fighters have responded.
According to the statement, Russia's military relied partly on Luhansk separatists' reserve forces.
According to intelligence updates, "these troops are not well-equipped and trained and do not have heavy equipment in comparison with regular Russian units." The intelligence update added that the move "indicates an intention to reduce casualties suffered by regular Russian forces."
A mayoral aide claimed that water supplies were being contaminated with garbage and corpses in Mariupol's Azov Sea port. Russia claimed it had captured Mariupol in May after months of siege. Petro Andriushchenko, a Ukrainian news agency, stated that Russian authorities have placed a quarantine in the city. The report was not independently verified.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President, visited the Zaporizhzhia area in the southeast. This region is partially under Russian control. In his second visit to the Kyiv region since the war, he received a battle report and thanked troops.
Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Spain was planning to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles as well as up to 40 Leopard 2A4 battle tanks. The report was not confirmed by the Ministry of Defense of Spain.
Ukraine's national soccer team lost 1-0 to Wales in a highly charged match in Cardiff. Some Ukrainians returned home to watch the match from bars.
This report was contributed by Hanna Arhirova in Kyiv and David Keyton, both journalists of the Associated Press.
Follow AP's coverage of the Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine