Jun 5, 2022 - World

Russian forces strike Kyiv for first time in weeks

Kyiv skyline after missile strike

Smoke rises after several explosions hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on June 5. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Russian missiles struck Kyiv on Sunday for the first time since late April, destroying tanks donated from abroad, Reuters reported.

Driving the news: The strikes interrupted the sense of normality that had returned in Kyiv since Russian forces were forced out of the capital.

  • The strikes were carried out using "long-range air-launched missiles fired from heavy bombers as far away as the Caspian Sea," Reuters reported, underscoring the sophistication of Russia's weaponry.
  • The strikes also targeted railway facilities and other infrastructure in Kyiv, AP reported.

The big picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against international weapons donations to Ukraine on Sunday, saying that if the U.S. were to provide longer-range missiles as planned, Russia would strike new targets in Ukraine.

What they're saying: "The Kremlin resorts to new insidious attacks. Today’s missile strikes at Kyiv have only 1 goal — kill as many Ukrainians as possible," Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted in response to the strikes.

State of play: The strikes on Kyiv come as the battle in eastern Ukraine continued to rage.

  • Last week, Russian forces entered Severodonetsk, the last remaining major city still under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk province of the Donbas.
  • Ukrainian forces launched a counterattack in recent days, recapturing roughly half of it, according to Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Gaidai, per Reuters.

Worth noting: The UK's defense ministry stated in an intelligence update Sunday that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the past 24 hours had blunted the operational momentum Russia had gained up until then.

  • The Russian forces deployed in Severodonetsk are poorly equipped and trained separatist fighters, likely used in order to "limit casualties suffered by regular Russian forces."

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