Ukraine: Russia uses'missile terrorist' in large attacks

Russia claimed that the West "stuffs Ukraine with weapons", and it bombarded railway stations and other targets throughout the country.

Ukraine: Russia uses'missile terrorist' in large attacks

Russia claimed that the West "stuffs Ukraine with weapons", and it bombarded railway stations and other targets throughout the country. The European Union then proposed a ban on oil imports to further punish Moscow.

According to the mayor, heavy fighting also broke out at Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant. This mill was the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the devastated southern port city. Although a Russian official denied that Moscow's troops stormed the plant, the commander of the main Ukrainian military force inside claimed that Russian troops had entered the mill's territory.

According to the Russian military, it also claimed that it used air- and sea-launched weapons to attack five Ukrainian railway stations with electric power. Artillery and aircraft struck troops strongholds as well as fuel and ammunition depots.

Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, accused Russia of using missile terrorism tactics to spread fear in Ukraine.

On Wednesday night, sirens went off in several cities throughout the country. Attacks were reported in Kyiv, the capital, Cherkasy, Dnipro, in central Ukraine, and Zaporizhzhia, in the southeast. Authorities in Dnipro reported that a rail facility had been attacked. Social media videos suggest that a bridge was attacked.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties or how severe the damage was.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zilenskyy responded to strikes in his nightly video address by saying: "All these crimes will be answered, legal and quite practically - on the battlefield."

As Russia prepares for Victory Day, which will be celebrated on May 9, the Soviet Union's defeat in Nazi Germany, the flurry comes as Russia is under pressure. The world is waiting to see if Russian President Vladimir Putin will use this occasion to declare victory in Ukraine and expand the "special military operations."

Putin could declare all-out war and use martial law to mobilize the reservists to compensate for troop losses.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for the Kremlin, dismissed the speculation as "nonsense".

In the meantime, Belarus, which Russia used to be a staging area for its invasion, announced Wednesday that it would begin military exercises. According to a top Ukrainian official, the country is ready to respond if Belarus joins in the fighting.

According to Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson, the attacks on rail infrastructure were intended to disrupt Western weapon delivery. Sergei Shoigu, Defense Minister, stated that the West "stuffs Ukraine with weapons."

Under anonymity, a senior U.S. defense officer spoke out to explain the Pentagon's assessment. He said that although Russia attempted to strike critical infrastructure in Lviv's western region, including railroads, it has had "no appreciable effect" on Ukraine's efforts to resupply its troops. Lviv, near the Polish border has been a key gateway for NATO-supplied arms.

According to Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson, the attacks on rail infrastructure were intended to disrupt Western weapon delivery. Sergei Shoigu, Defense Minister, stated that the West "stuffs Ukraine with weapons."

Under anonymity, a senior U.S. defense officer spoke out to explain the Pentagon's assessment. He said that although Russia attempted to strike critical infrastructure in Lviv's western region, including railroads, it has had "no appreciable effect" on Ukraine's efforts to resupply its troops. Lviv, near the Polish border has been a key gateway for NATO-supplied arms.

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The Ukrainian army's weaponry poured into Ukraine, thwarting Russia's initial attempt to seize Kyiv. It seems certain that it will play a key role in the ongoing battle for the Donbas. This is the eastern industrial area that Moscow claims to be its main objective.

Ukraine is urging the West to increase its weapons supply ahead of the potentially decisive clash. Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that his government, which was slow to arm Ukraine initially, is now considering providing howitzers in addition to Gepard antiaircraft guns and other equipment.

According to the governor of eastern Donetsk, which is located in the Donbass, Russian attacks killed 21 people on Tuesday. This is the highest number of fatalities since April 8, when a missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station left at least 59 dead.

The U.S. and Europe have tried to punish Moscow by imposing sanctions, in addition to providing weapons to Ukraine. On Wednesday, the EU's top official urged the 27-nation bloc to ban Russian oil imports. This is a vital source of revenue.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that she will ensure that Russian oil is phased out in a systematic manner that allows for alternative supply routes. This will minimize the impact on global markets.

The proposal must be approved unanimously by all EU countries. It is likely to be the topic of intense debate. Hungary and Slovakia already stated that they will not participate in any oil sanctions. They might be allowed an exemption.

EU officials are also discussing a possible embargo against Russian natural gas. Already, the bloc approved a ban on coal imports.

Russia's economy heavily depends on natural gas and oil exports. Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister, stated that European energy purchases from Russia generate billions of dollars and support the Kremlin’s "war machine."

Von der Leyen also suggested that Sberbank (Russia's largest bank) and two other banks be disassociated from SWIFT, the international banking payment system.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Bochenko stated that Russian forces had targeted Azovstal's already destroyed plant with heavy artillery and tanks, warships, and "heavy Bombs that penetrate concrete 3 to 5 metres thick"

He said, "Our brave men are defending the fortress, but that is very difficult."

Ukrainian fighters claimed Tuesday that Russian forces had stormed the plant. The Kremlin denied that. Peskov stated that there was no attack.

Denys Prokopenko (commander of the Ukrainian Azov regiment, which is defending the plant), said that Russian forces have entered the plant's territory.

Prokopenko stated in a video, that incursions continued for another day and there were heavy, bloody battles.

He said, "The situation is extremely challenging, but we continue to execute the order to defend,"

Kateryna Prokopenko was his wife and told The Associated Press that they didn't want him to die. They will not surrender. They wait for the bravest nations to evacuate them."

The United Nations announced Wednesday that over 300 civilians had been evacuated from Mariupol and other areas. The refugees arrived in Zaporizhzhia (about 140 miles (230 km) to the northwest), where they received humanitarian aid.

"Many arrived with nothing but their clothes, and we will now support these people during this difficult time, including with psychological support," Osnat Lubrani (the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine) said.

Over the weekend, over 100 people, including 17 children and elderly women, were evacuated from the plant in a ceasefire operation overseen both by the U.N. However, the attacks on the plant quickly resumed.

Telegram messenger app, the Russian government stated that it would open another evacuation route from the plant at certain hours on Thursday and Saturday. However, there was no confirmation from any other parties. Many previous assurances by the Kremlin were also not confirmed. The Ukrainians blame the Russians for continuing fighting.

Although it was not clear how many Ukrainian fighters were still inside the compound, the Russians have put the figure at around 2,000 over the past few weeks. 500 people were also reported to have been wounded. According to the Ukrainian side, there were still a few hundred civilians.

Mariupol and the Mariupol plant have become symbols of the suffering caused by war. In a two-month-long siege, the Russians have destroyed most of the city, leaving civilians without food, water, or heat.

Falling the city would leave Ukraine without a port vital, but Russia could establish a land corridor to reach the Crimean Peninsula, which it took from Ukraine in 2014. This would allow Russia to free its troops to fight in the Donbas.

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