Ukraine war

Russia launches 30 cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets; Ukraine claims 29 of them were intercepted

A man plants sunflowers in his garden near a damaged Russian tank and its turret in the village of Velyka Dymerka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Photo: AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

In the latest nocturnal test of Ukrainian air defenses, Russia fired 30 cruise missiles at various parts of Ukraine early Thursday morning, officials said, which intercepted 29 of them.

According to Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the region's military administration, one person was killed, and two others were injured when a stray Russian missile struck an industrial structure in the southern region of Odesa.

The Kremlin's forces targeted the Ukrainian capital for the ninth time this month, marking a clear escalation after weeks of relative calm and in advance of a highly anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive employing newly supplied advanced Western weaponry.

Debris fell on two districts of Kyiv, igniting a fire at a parking garage complex. Serhiy Popko, the director of the Kyiv Military Administration, stated in a Telegram message that there had been no immediate reports of casualties.

According to authorities, Ukraine also fired down two exploding Russian drones and two reconnaissance drones.

According to Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat, the bombardment of Ukraine included six Russian Kinzhal aero-ballistic hypersonic missiles, the most launched in a single attack thus far in the conflict.

The missiles were launched from Russian sea, air, and ground bases, according to a Telegram message from the Ukrainian commander-in-chief, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

He said that several waves of missiles were fired at Ukraine between 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 5:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Kyiv authorities say that Russian forces used strategic bombers from the Caspian region and launched missiles of the Soviet-era X-101 and X-55 types. The Russian Federation subsequently deployed reconnaissance drones over the capital.

According to officials, in the most recent significant air attack on Kyiv, on Tuesday, Ukrainian air defenses bolstered by Western-supplied sophisticated systems intercepted all incoming missiles.

This attack employed hypersonic missiles, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly cited as an important strategic advantage. Due to their hypersonic speed and maneuverability, these missiles, among the most sophisticated in Russia's armament, are difficult to detect and intercept.

However, sophisticated Western air defense systems, such as American-made Patriot missiles, have helped spare Kyiv from the devastation seen along the country's principal front line in the east and south.

While ground combat along this front line is largely stalemated, both parties target each other's territory with long-range weapons.

Meanwhile, authorities installed by the Kremlin in occupied Crimea reported Thursday that an explosion caused the derailment of eight railway cars.

According to Russian official media, the train was carrying grain.

State news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing a source within the emergency services, that the incident occurred close to Simferopol. The Crimean Railway reported that the derailment was caused by "the interference of unauthorized persons" and that there were no casualties.

Publish : 2023-05-18 15:09:00

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