Watch: Kyiv Rocked By Cruise Missile Barrage As Putin Pivots Strategy To Include Caspian Sea

By Roberta Elliot | Monday, 06 June 2022 09:30
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A barrage of Russian cruise missiles shattered five weeks of eerie calm in Ukraine’s capital early Sunday, with plumes of smoke billowing into the skies as railway facilities and different infrastructure were hit. Authorities announced one person was hospitalized with injuries.

Kyiv hadn’t faced any such strikes since the April 28 visit of U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. The early morning invasion ignited air raid alarms and revealed that Russia still had the capability and willingness to hit at Ukraine’s heart since dumping its wider offensive across the nation to rather focus its efforts in the east.

The strikes seemed concentrated on thwarting the resupplying of Ukrainian fighters, an increasing concern in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin used a televised interview on Sunday to make a veiled warning to Western countries who have supplied weapons to Ukraine, stating that Russia would use ”our means of destruction” to hit "objects that we have not yet struck” if Ukraine gets longer-range rocket systems.

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It wasn’t immediately clear if Putin was referring to new targets within or outside Ukraine’s borders.

Russia's attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24 has led to untold tens of thousands of civilian and troop deaths, forced millions from their homes, ignited vast sanctions against Putin's government and allies, and strangled exports of vital wheat and other grains from Ukraine through Black Sea ports — limiting access to bread and different products in Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

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The missiles hit Kyiv’s Darnytski and Dniprovski districts, Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on the Telegram messaging app, punctuating the Kremlin’s recently lowered objective of seizing the entire Donbas region in the east. Moscow-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian forces for eight years in the Donbas and established self-proclaimed republics. In recent states, Russian forces have concentrated on capturing the city of Severodonetsk.

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A billowing pillar of smoke filled the air with an acrid odor in Kyiv's eastern Darnystki district, and the charred, blackened wreckage of a warehouse-type structure was smoldering. Police near the site explained to an Associated Press reporter that military authorities had banned the taking of images. Soldiers further blocked off a road in a nearby area leading toward a large railway yard.

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The sites struck included facilities for the state rail company, Ukrzaliznytsia, announced Serhiy Leshchenko, an adviser in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, on Telegram.

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Russian strikes have repeatedly targeted railway facilities, apparently seeking to slow the provision of weapons to Ukrainian forces on the front lines. The cruise missiles appeared to have been launched from a Tu-95 bomber flying over the Caspian Sea, the Air Force Command announced on Facebook. It stated that air defense units shot down one missile.

In a television interview on Sunday, Putin lashed out at Western deliveries of weapons to Ukraine, stating they aim to prolong the conflict.

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