Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday warned of retaliation if Ukraine gets longer-range rocket systems from Western countries. He said his military would hit targets “we have not yet struck.”
President Putin’s remarks were disclosed by his country’s official newspaper, Tass, which attributed them to an interview he conducted with Rossiya1 TV anchor Pavel Zarubin.
The White House confirmed last week that the United States would provide medium-range systems able to pinpoint targets as far away as 50 miles. Ukraine has lobbied hard for advanced weapons from Western countries, saying they are vital to counter Russian artillery in the continuing war.
Putin declared the transfer of such weapons to Kyiv does not change anything. “There is nothing new here,” the head of state said. “These are the multiple launch rocket systems, because the Ukrainian army is armed with similar systems of Soviet, Russian production Grad, Smerch [and] Uragan.”
As if to demonstrate his point, Russian guided missiles struck two districts of the capitol city, Kyiv, Sunday morning. It was reportedly the first time in more than a month that the invading army used precision missiles for attacks on the capitol.
The missiles were fired from Russian Tu-95 bombers over the Caspian Sea, according to information provided on the Facebook page for Ukraine’s Air Force Command. The statement added that the missiles were detected by the Center Air Command around 6 a.m. and fired on them, destroying one missile.
Russia’s Defence Ministry claimed tanks sent to Ukraine by supporting countries were destroyed in the attack. Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said during a Sunday TV broadcast that one of the strikes hit a military target while the other damaged civilian infrastructure. Denysenko denied Russia’s claims about destroying tanks at the rail car facility. The head of Ukraine’s rail network also denied that claim, according to the Washington Post report.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the capitol remains a target for Russia even though they abandoned their initial assault at the beginning of the war.
“The war is in a hot phase,” she said, according to the Ukrainian news agency Suspilne. “And Kyiv remains Russia’s main goal.”
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