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23 Jan, 2024 13:54

Russian strikes on Kiev and Kharkov not retaliation for Donetsk – Kremlin

Moscow’s military does not target civilian infrastructure and residential areas, unlike Ukrainian forces, Dmitry Peskov has said
Russian strikes on Kiev and Kharkov not retaliation for Donetsk – Kremlin

Russian missile strikes on Kiev and Kharkov on Tuesday morning were not retaliation for the recent Ukrainian attack on a busy market in Donetsk, which killed over two dozen civilians, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. 

His statement came after the Russian Defense Ministry reported carrying out a large series of high-precision missile strikes on military targets in Ukraine, particularly sites producing rockets and other munitions. 

Ukrainian media reported on Tuesday, however, that residential buildings in Kharkov and Kiev had sustained damage and that several dozen people had been injured in the attacks. The Ukrainian military also claimed to have shot down 21 out of 41 missiles fired by Russia. However, it was unclear where those projectiles landed and if they could have been the cause of the damage sustained in residential areas in the two Ukrainian cities.

Kremlin spokesman Peskov stated that the Russian attack was not a response to Kiev’s assault on Donetsk, stressing that it was only part of Moscow’s ongoing operation. He also insisted that Russian forces “do not target social infrastructure, residential areas or civilians, unlike the Kiev regime.” 

”This is what fundamentally distinguishes our military from the military of the Kiev regime,” Peskov emphasized. 

Tuesday’s missile strikes follow the shelling of the Russian city of Donetsk on Sunday. The attack, which targeted a busy local market and shops, left 27 civilians dead and several dozen others seriously injured, including children. Moscow condemned the attack as “barbaric” and a “heinous act of terrorism,” also suggesting it was carried out with Western support.  

”The Kiev regime continues to show its savage face, they strike at civilian infrastructure, at people, at the civilian population,” Peskov said following the incident, adding that Moscow will do everything possible to prevent any repeat in future.  

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned Sunday’s attack on Donetsk but refused to assign blame, instead calling for a general cessation of any hostilities toward civilians and civilian infrastructure.