Kyiv (Ukraine) -- Russia attacked Western military supplies to Ukraine on Sunday with airstrikes in Kyiv. It claimed that it destroyed tanks from abroad and President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia would strike "objects we haven’t yet struck" if any Western long-range rocket systems are delivered to Ukraine.
Although the Russian leader did not specify the targets, the cryptic threat of military escalation was made. It comes just days after the United States announced that it would provide $700 million in security assistance to Ukraine. This includes four precision-guided medium-range rocket systems and helicopters, Javelin antitank weapon systems, radars, tactical vehicle, spare parts, and other equipment.
According to military analysts, Russia wants to take over the eastern Donbas, an area where Russia-backed separatists are fighting the Ukrainian government for many years. Before any weapons can turn the tide, however, According to the Pentagon, it will take at most three weeks for the precise U.S. weapons of trained troops to reach the battlefield.
Russian forces attacked railway infrastructure and other infrastructure in Kyiv early Sunday morning. This city had seen weeks of strange calm. Energoatom Ukraine, the operator of the nuclear plant, stated that one cruise missile swung by the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant, 220 miles south, while it was on its way to Kiev. This was citing the dangers associated with such a close miss.
The Ukrainian government did not immediately confirm that the Russian airstrikes had caused the destruction of tanks.
Since the April 28 U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres' visit, Kyiv had not been subject to such strikes. The attack in the early morning triggered alarms. It showed that Russia had the ability and willingness to strike at Ukraine's heart despite having abandoned its larger offensive across the country and instead focusing its efforts on the east.
The Russian Defense Ministry posted a Telegram post stating that long-range, high-precision air-launched missiles had been used. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the strikes in the outskirts Kyiv resulted in the destruction of T-72 tanks, which were supplied by Eastern European countries, and other armored vehicle located within buildings of a car repair business.
Russia's invasion in Ukraine on February 24th has resulted in untold numbers of civilian and troop casualties, drove millions from their homes, and sparked massive sanctions against Putin and his government. It also stifled exports of vital wheat and other grains from Ukraine through Black Sea port -- restricting access to bread in Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere.
Putin blasted the West for supplying weapons to Ukraine in a TV interview, saying that they want to prolong conflict.
Putin stated that "all this fuss about additional weapons deliveries, in my view, has only one purpose: To drag out armed conflict as much possible," referring to U.S. plans for multiple launch rocket systems to Kyiv. These supplies would not change much for Ukraine's government, he stated. He said that this was just compensating for rockets with similar range that they had lost.
He said that if Kyiv receives longer-range missiles, Moscow would "draw appropriate conclusions" and use its means of destruction (which we have plenty) to strike at the objects we haven’t yet struck.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko stated that missiles struck Kyiv's Darnytski, and Dniprovski areas. This was in direct violation of the Kremlin’s recent reduced goal to seize the entire Donbas. Moscow-backed separatists fought Ukrainian forces in the Donbas for eight years and created self-proclaimed republics.
Recent days have seen Russian forces focus on the capture of Sievierodonetsk.
The air was filled with a billowing smoke pillar and the smell of an unpleasant odor from Kyiv's eastern Darnystki region. Also, the blackened, charred remains of a warehouse-type structure were smoldering. An Associated Press reporter was told by police that the military had prohibited the taking of photographs at the scene. A road leading to a large railway yard was also blocked by soldiers.
According to Serhiy Lechenko, an advisor in President Volodymyr Zeleskyy's office on Telegram, the sites were for Ukrzaliznytsia. According to the Air Force Command on Facebook, the cruise missiles were launched from a Tu-95 Bomber that was flying above the Caspian Sea. According to the Air Force Command, one missile was shot down by air defense units.
Energoatom stated that one cruise missile was dangerously close to the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant. The missile was "flew at a critical level" and Russian forces were "still unable to understand that even the smallest missile fragment that could hit a working power unit could cause a nuclear disaster and radiation leak."
Russian forces in other parts of Ukraine continued to push for an invasion, with airstrikes and missile strikes on Luhansk and Luhansk regions. The war is now over 100 days.
Serhiy Haidai, Luhansk governor, stated on Telegram that "airstrikes carried out by Russian Ka52 helicopters in the areas Girske and Myrna Dolyna by Su-25 aircraft -- On Ustynivka", while Lysychansk received a missile from Tochka-U.
In Girske, 13 homes were destroyed and five in Lysychansk. Oleksandr Gorcharenko, the mayor of Kramatorsk, reported another airstrike. He said that no one was hurt in the attack but two enterprises suffered "significant damage."
The General Staff of Ukraine accused Russian forces of using phosphorous munitions in Cherkaski Tyshky, Kharkiv. This claim could not be independently verified.
Updates also confirmed strikes in Kyiv that occurred on Sunday morning. The statement didn't indicate which infrastructure facilities were affected in Kyiv.
According to the General Staff, Russian forces are continuing their assault in Sievierodonetsk. This is one of two cities that remain in the Luhansk region. According to the latest update, Russian forces control the eastern portion of the city and are now focusing their efforts on encircling Ukrainian forces and "blocking off major logistical routes."
In its daily intelligence update, the U.K. military stated that Ukrainian counterattacks on Sievierodonetsk are "likely to blunt the operational momentum Russian forces had previously gained by concentrating combat units firepower and combat units." Russian forces had previously made a series of advances in the city. However, Ukrainian fighters have responded in recent days.
According to the statement, Russia's military relied partly on the reserve forces of the Luhansk separatists.
According to intelligence updates, "These troops lack the necessary equipment and training and are not as well equipped as regular Russian units." This approach is likely to indicate a desire to reduce casualties in regular Russian forces.
The national soccer team of Ukraine hopes to win a spot in the World Cup when it takes on Wales later this Sunday in Cardiff.
The diplomatic front was dominated by Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, heading to Serbia to meet President Aleksandar Vucic. He will then travel to Turkey on Tuesday to visit his Turkish counterpart, where he is expected to discuss Ukraine.
Turkey tried to negotiate with the U.N. and warring countries in order to allow Ukrainian grain to be exported to Turkish ports. However, no agreement was imminent.
An adviser to the Ukrainian president urged European countries to respond to Sunday's missile attack with "more sanctions and more weapons."
Mykhailo Podolyak referred to remarks made Friday by French President Emmanuel Macron. He said that Putin had made a "historic mistake" in invading Ukraine but that the world should not "humiliate Russia" so that a diplomatic exit can be reached when the fighting ceases.
Ukrainian authorities claimed that Russia and Ukraine had swapped bodies of their troops killed this week in the first official confirmed swap. The Ministry for Reintegration of Occupied Territories of Ukraine announced Saturday that 160 bodies were exchanged by each side on Thursday at the front line of the southern Zaporizhzhia, which is under Russian control. Russian officials have not commented on the exchange.
Pope Francis appealed to leaders in Ukraine for peace and ceasefire at the Vatican. Don't leave the world in ruins. He made the appeal during Sunday's traditional blessing from St. Peter's Square window, asking leaders for their attention to the "desperate cries" of those who have suffered more than 100 days since the Russian invasion.