The United States described this Thursday as “brutal and unjustified” the attacks carried out by Vladimir Putin’s Russian troops against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
It is “devastating to see these brutal and unjustified attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine,” Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton told reporters aboard Air Force One.
The attacks, which included the launch of advanced Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, left at least nine dead, power outages and disrupted the operation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Russian forces used hypersonic missiles among the 81 rockets launched in Thursday’s offensive against Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed, while Ukrainian military authorities acknowledged that their forces cannot effectively stop such weapons.
Air raid sirens blared over the capital for seven hours as Ukrainian air defenses shot down drones and all manner of cruise missiles, though according to preliminary reports a hypersonic missile hit its target.
“Long-range air, sea, and ground-based precision weapons, including the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system, hit key elements of Ukraine’s military infrastructure, enterprises of the military-industrial complex, as well as energy facilities that supply them with power,” Defense Ministry spokesman said Igor Konashenkov.
“Unfortunately, a Kinzhal-type missile hit an infrastructure object,” he said. Serhi Popkohead of the military authority of the kyiv region.
Putin’s army has used this type of missile before in Ukraine. In August, he reported that they had been released three times, beginning in July. “And all three times he showed brilliant features,” then celebrated the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu.
On Thursday, the head of the Ukrainian Armed Forces claimed that Russia fired 81 missiles into Ukrainian territory early Thursday morning, including six Kinzhal missiles.
Valery Zaluzhny reported in Telegram the list of the arsenal used from different bases: 28 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles from the air; 20 Kalibr cruise missiles from the sea; six X-22 aerial cruise missiles; six Kh-47 Kinzhal airborne cruise missiles; eight guided air missiles: 2 – Kh-31P; 6-X-59; and 13 S-300 guided anti-aircraft missiles.
The use of hypersonic missiles is analyzed from two perspectives: it may be a new show of intimidation by the Kremlin or a sign of a depletion of the most “current” arsenal of rockets in the Russian forces.
A few hours after the attacks, the Ukrainian electricity operator Ukrenergo announced the reconnection with the national network of that plant occupied by Russian forces for a year and ruled out the risk of a nuclear incident.
The cut had previously set off alarm bells at the UN nuclear body and the European Union.
“We play with fire” warned the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The attack constitutes “a serious violation of nuclear security, committed by Russia,” said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
The interruption of the electrical supply forced the plant to be cooled with diesel generators, which “increased the risk of a nuclear accident” until reconnection with the electrical network, he added.
Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelenskydenounced the “miserable tactics” of Russia after the bombing, which affected ten regions of the country and kyiv, the capital, targeting energy infrastructure.
The shelling killed at least five people in the Lviv region (west), another in the Dnipro region (central-east) and three in Kherson (south), according to Ukrainian sources.
(With information from AFP)
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