Ukraine: new salvo of Russian missiles, one dead in Kyiv
< /p> UPDATE DAY
Ukraine was the target Thursday of a new salvo of Russian missiles, which killed at least one person and caused power outages, the day after the decision of the West to deliver tanks to the Ukrainian army.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for armored vehicles to be provided as soon as possible, his Defense Ministry warning for his part that the Russian troops, “in numerical superiority”, “intensified” the fighting in the east of the Ukraine.
The Kremlin has denounced the “direct involvement” of the West in the conflict with the announced delivery, after much procrastination, of German and American tanks.
According to Kyiv, Russia on Thursday fired around 30 missiles and launched dozens of drones against its neighbor, in particular, as has been the case since October, at energy installations.
An initial report shows one dead and two injured in the capital, said its mayor, Vitali Klitschko.
It was not immediately known whether the 55-year-old man killed had been killed by the impact of a missile or by debris from the projectile after it has been shot down by anti-aircraft defense.
In total, Ukraine was targeted by “more than thirty missiles” Russian in the morning, said an air force spokesman. Overnight, 24 Iranian-made Shahed drones had already been shot down, according to Ukrainian forces.
As a precaution, “emergency” power cuts were put in place on Thursday morning in Kyiv and in three regions in order to “avoid major damage to electricity infrastructure in the event that enemy missiles hit their targets”, announced the private electricity company DTEK.
In the Odessa region (south), “two critical energy infrastructure sites were damaged,” local authorities reported.
Previous massive Russian strikes on Ukraine dated back to January 14.
After a series of military setbacks on the ground in late summer and fall, the Kremlin began in October to regularly strike Ukraine's transformers and power stations, each time plunging millions of Ukrainian civilians into darkness and cold.
This new wave of bombardments comes the day after the green light from Washington and Berlin for the transfer of dozens of heavy tanks to Kyiv, an unprecedented decision in eleven months of war.
Germany intends to deliver the Leopard 2s promised “at the end of March, beginning of April”, underlined in this respect his Minister of Defense Boris Pistorius on Thursday.
Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the allies of his country, welcoming an “important step for the final victory” .
But he noted that “the key” to success was now “the speed and volume” of deliveries, Kyiv claiming hundreds of these tanks to begin the reconquest of the territories under occupation in the east and south.
The Ukrainian president has also asked for fighter planes and long-range missiles, as many weapons as the West has so far refused to provide, for fear of provoking a military escalation.
Already, the Kremlin considers that the delivery of tanks is proof of the “direct involvement in the conflict” of the West.
And “we see that (this commitment) is growing,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
For Ukraine, obtaining arms is vital to take back the territories which Russia claims to be annexed.
Especially since, on the ground, “the fighting is intensifying” in the east, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar noted on Wednesday evening.
The Russian forces are there “in numerical superiority”, she noted, citing the Bakhmout area, which Moscow troops have been trying to seize for several months, but also that around Vougledar, a locality in the south- west of Donetsk.
Russia has mobilized since the end of September hundreds of thousands of reservists to consolidate its positions on the front.
In addition, Ukraine admitted on Wednesday that it had to abandon Soledar – north of Bakhmout -, which the Russians had been claiming to have taken for a week.
< p>According to a sergeant, who goes by the nom de guerre “Alkor”, “the battle was tough” because the Ukrainians were outnumbered.
“We shoot again and again but , after five minutes, a new wave of 20 enemies is coming at us,” he said. “Their number is enormous. They use their soldiers as cannon fodder.”
According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russia seems to be stepping up offensives on the front line to “disperse” Ukrainian forces in order to “ create the conditions for a decisive offensive operation”, probably in eastern Ukraine.