Moscow provides details on latest missile strikes against Ukraine
The Russian Defense Ministry has said that the latest missile strikes against Ukraine on Saturday hit “all assigned targets.” Earlier, Kiev’s officials reported that the country’s power grid had been damaged in several regions on the same day.
“On January 14, 2023, a missile attack was carried out on the military command and control system of Ukraine and associated energy facilities. All assigned targets have been hit. The objectives have been reached,” the military said in its statement on Sunday.
Multiple strikes were reported by Ukrainian officials and media outlets on Saturday, with Energy Minister German Galushchenko claiming Russian missiles made it through to multiple energy infrastructure sites across the country. Ukraine’s largest private energy operator, DTEK, said that two of its thermal power stations came under attack. Footage circulating online suggests at least one of the facilities sustained heavy damage, with its main machinery hall destroyed.
A residential building was heavily damaged amid the strikes in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Dnepr (previously known as Dnepropetrovsk), according to videos published on social media. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that some 25 civilians were killed and 73 were injured. Kiev officials have laid the blame on Moscow, but given differing accounts about what transpired.
Moscow ramped up its strikes against Kiev’s infrastructure in early October of last year, citing repeated Ukrainian sabotage on Russian soil. The attacks followed the bombing of the Crimean Bridge, which Moscow blamed on the Ukrainian military intelligence service and its Western partners. The attack was widely celebrated by top Ukrainian officials and the country’s postal service even released a commemorative stamp hours after the blast. One road section of the bridge was severely damaged, killing three civilians. However, Ukraine denied involvement.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to stop the fighting in Donbass and give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. Brokered by Germany and France, they were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
Shortly before hostilities started, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Last September, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.