Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense shot down 47 missiles out of a total of 55 launched by Russia this Thursday in a new “massive” attackassured the head of the armed forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny.
(Also: Sending tanks to Ukraine is ‘direct involvement’ of the West in the conflict)
“The Russian Federation today launched a massive missile attack on the territory of Ukraine. The enemy launched 55 missiles” from the air and sea, Zaluzhny said on Telegram, adding that his forces “destroyed 47 cruise missiles, 20 of them in the capital area.”
(You can read: Official: Germany confirms the shipment of ‘Leopard 2’ type tanks to Ukraine)
The head of the Ukrainian armed forces specified that three of the unshot down Russian missiles missed their targetwhich means that, according to him, only five of them fell in the place intended by the Russian forces.
The Ukrainian air force specified on its Telegram channel that among the 55 “high-precision” missiles there were two of the KH-47 Kinjal type and four KH-59, launched from Mig-31 and Su-35 aircraft respectively.
(Keep reading: Ukraine: Will the course of the war change after the arrival of tanks from the West?)
According to the same source, the bombardments were also carried out from Tupolev-75 fighters, located further away from the Caspian Sea, and from Russian submarines, located in the Black Sea.
new missile salvo
Russia launched a new salvo of missiles against Ukraine on Thursday, which caused one death in the capital and power cuts in several regions, the day after kyiv’s allies announced the shipment of heavy tanks.
Moscow denounced that this delivery of heavy equipment meant the “direct involvement” of the West in the conflict and intensified its fighting in various areas of the Donetsk region, in the east.
According to kyiv, Russia launched dozens of missiles and drones on Thursday, mainly against Ukrainian energy facilities.
(Also: Leopard 2: this is the powerful German tank that Ukraine will receive for the war)
A first balance revealed one dead and two injured in the capital, according to its mayor, Vitali Klitschko.
The fatality was “a 55-year-old man,” the municipal administration said. According to the city’s military administration, this death was caused by falling fragments from a missile that had been shot down.
Overnight, 24 Iranian-made Shahed drones were shot down, according to Ukrainian forces.
As a precaution, kyiv, its region and two others carried out “emergency” power cuts to “avoid major damage to power infrastructure if enemy missiles hit their target,” private power operator DTEK reported.
In the Odessa region (south), “two essential energy infrastructure sites” were damaged, according to local authorities, without causing casualties.
(Also: Zelenski turns 45 with a government crisis and the gift of the ‘Leopard’)
The last massive Russian attacks against energy infrastructures were on January 14. Following several military setbacks on the ground in the middle of last year, the Kremlin changed tack and began attacking Ukraine’s transformers and power plants in October.
Since then, power cuts have multiplied in the country and left millions of Ukrainian civilians without drinking water or heating in winter.
This new massive attack occurs the day after the United States and Germany authorized the shipment of dozens of heavy combat vehicles to Ukraine, an unprecedented decision in the 11 months of war.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski thanked his allies for supplying this equipment, which kyiv had been demanding for months. It is “an important step on the road to victory,” the president said. But “the key now is speed and volume” in the delivery of the tankshe insisted on Wednesday night.
(Also read: The Kremlin on sending tanks to kyiv: “It is a plan destined to fail”)
The Ukrainian government estimates that it needs several hundred tanks to defeat the Russian army in the east and south of the country. Germany specified this Thursday that it plans to deliver the Leopard 2 tanks “at the end of March, beginning of April,” according to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.
These deliveries and military aid “is not an offensive threat to Russia,” US President Joe Biden had indicated. But for the Kremlin it is a “direct involvement” of the Western countries, united behind Ukraine to weaken Russia.
“In Moscow, we consider this as a direct involvement in the conflict, and we see that [esta implicación] grows,” said the spokesman for the Russian presidency, Dmitri Peskov.
*With information from Efe and AFP
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