Russian attack on Ukrainian news: missile strike on school and houses in Zaporizhzhia; War death toll rises after latest Russian attack

Kyiv, Ukraine — A new round of missile attacks hit the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday as the death toll from the previous day’s widespread Russian missile barrage across Ukraine rose to 19.

Missiles hit a school, medical facility and residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia, city council secretary Anatoliy Kurtev said. The state emergency service said 12 S-300 missiles hit public facilities, starting a major fire in the area. One person was killed.

The S-300 was originally designed as a long-range surface-to-air missile. Russia is increasingly using repurposed versions of the weapon to strike ground targets.

Morning airstrike warnings spread across the country, sending some residents back to shelters after months of relative calm in the capital and many other cities. That earlier lull had led many Ukrainians to ignore the usual sirens, but Monday’s attacks gave them a new urgency.

Along with the usual sirens, residents of the capital, Kyiv, were shaken early on Tuesday by a new type of audible alarm that sounds automatically from mobile phones. The caustic sounding alert was accompanied by text warning of the possibility of missile strikes.

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The state emergency service said 19 people died and 105 people were injured in Monday’s missile strikes that targeted critical infrastructure in Kyiv and 12 other regions. More than 300 towns and villages were without electricity, from the Ukrainian capital to Lviv, on the border with Poland. Many attacks took place far from the front lines of the war.

As Ukrainian forces grow bolder after a series of battlefield successes, a cornered Kremlin reinforces Cold War-era rhetoric and stokes concerns that it could widen the war and attract more of fighters.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned on Tuesday that Western military assistance to Kyiv, including training Ukrainian soldiers in NATO countries and providing real-time satellite data to the Ukraine to target Russian forces, has “increasingly drawn Western nations into the conflict on the part of the Kyiv army”. regime.”

Ryabkov said in remarks by state news agency RIA-Novosti that “Russia will be forced to take relevant countermeasures, including asymmetric countermeasures.” He said that although Russia is not “interested in a direct confrontation” with the United States and NATO, “we hope that Washington and other Western capitals are aware of the danger of an uncontrollable escalation”.

Ryabkov’s warning follows Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s announcement that he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed to create a joint “regional grouping of troops” to thwart what Lukashenko called a potential Ukrainian aggression against Belarus.

Ukraine’s army general staff said on Tuesday it had not seen evidence of troop movements or buildup of offensive forces in Belarus, but warned that Russia may continue to strike “peaceful neighborhoods ” and critical infrastructure in Ukraine with missiles.

SEE ALSO | Ukraine: Russian strikes kill at least 12 after bridge explosion

“The enemy is not able to stop the successful counter-offensive of the Defense Forces in the directions of Kharkiv and Kherson, therefore it is trying to intimidate and sow panic among the Ukrainian population,” said the army headquarters.

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of Warfare said a joint Russian-Belarusian force was unlikely to launch an attack on Ukraine from the north.

Think tank analysts said the Russian component of such a force would be “likely to consist of low-readiness mobilized men or conscripts who are unlikely to pose a significant conventional military threat to Ukraine.”

One of the uses of the joint force could be to keep some Ukrainian troops bogged down around Kyiv to defend the capital, preventing them from being deployed to more active fronts where they could continue their counteroffensive, the institute said. .

Although Ukrainian officials said Russia’s missile strikes on Monday made no “practical military sense”, Putin said the “precision weapons” attack was in retaliation for what he called a “terrorist” actions of Kyiv – a reference to Ukraine’s attempts to repel an invasion of Moscow, including an attack Saturday on a key bridge between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. Putin claimed the attack on the bridge was orchestrated by Ukrainian special services.

Putin has promised a “tough” and “proportionate” response if further Ukrainian attacks threaten Russia’s security. “No one should doubt that,” he told the Russian Security Council by video.

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Putin’s increasingly frequent descriptions of Ukraine’s actions as terrorists could portend even bolder and more drastic actions. But in Monday’s speech, Putin – whose partial troop mobilization order last month sparked an exodus of hundreds of thousands of fighting-age men – refrained from turning his “special military operation” into a anti-terrorism campaign or martial law.

That didn’t stop the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday comparing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. He also said Western politicians supporting Ukraine “effectively sponsor terrorism” and that “there can be no talks with terrorists”.

Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on world leaders to declare Russia a terrorist state over its attacks on civilians and alleged war crimes.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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