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June 13, 2024

Missile Barrage Across Ukraine Kills At Least 4 As Russia Evacuates Border City

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Jan 8, 2024

Russian forces launched a massive missile attack across Ukraine on Monday, hitting critical infrastructure and killing at least 4 civilians in what Ukraine called Moscow’s largest aerial offensive since the war began. The barrage came as Russia evacuated hundreds from a city on the border with Ukraine amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Over 50 Missiles Fired In Largest Attack Since Invasion Began

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Russia fired 55 air and sea-based missiles at targets across the country starting early Monday morning. Air raid sirens sounded in all regions of Ukraine as the public was urged to seek shelter.

At least 4 civilians were killed and 38 others injured in the missile strikes targeting energy facilities in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service. The attacks caused widespread power outages.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russians “want panic and chaos” but added that Ukraine was undeterred. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated that Russia deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure “to deprive Ukrainians of light and heating.”

City Reported Targets Casualties
Kyiv Energy infrastructure At least 2 dead
Kharkiv Critical infrastructure At least 1 dead, over 20 injured
Zaporizhia Substations, factories Widespread power outages
Dnipro Energy infrastructure 1 person injured

Ukraine’s Air Force Command reported that Russian forces launched X-101, X-555 and Kalibr cruise missiles from Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers over the Caspian Sea, from a warship in the Black Sea and via ground launchers near occupied Ukrainian territory.

Military expert Serhiy Zgurets told the Kyiv Independent that it was the highest number of missiles Russia launched in a single day since beginning its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The previous record was on October 10, 2022 when Russia hit infrastructure across Ukraine with 84 cruise missiles and 24 drones.

Hundreds Evacuated As Ukraine Presses Forward in East

As Moscow intensified its assault from the air, it also began evacuating civilians from the Russian border city of Belgorod amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, said that bus convoys transported several hundred people further into Russian territory as a precautionary measure. He claimed that remnants of two Ukrainian battalions had broken through Russian defenses in the Kharkiv direction.

The evacuation came after Ukrainian forces made substantial territorial gains in the Kharkiv and Luhansk regions in recent months, pushing Russian troops back across the border. Ukraine’s military reported striking a Russian military base in Belgorod with rockets back in December.

Military analysts say Belgorod holds strategic value for Moscow as a staging ground for offensive operations. Its loss could cut vital supply lines supporting Russian troops on the front.

Mykola Sunhurovskyi, a military expert at the Razumkov Centre think tank in Kyiv, predicted more evacuations from border areas in Russia that have served as logistics hubs.

“The main battles are still ahead. Given the dynamics at the front and the strikes on areas bordering Ukraine, we can expect the Kremlin to take unpopular decisions and evacuate civilians from other regions,” Sunhurovskyi said.

Zelenskyy Calls for More Weapons; West Pledges Continued Support

In his nightly address after the missile strikes, Zelenskyy stated that the intensity of Russia’s attacks demonstrate why Ukraine needs substantial increases in Western military assistance.

“The terrorist state needs to see that killling civilians and infrastructure terror will lead it nowhere,” he emphasized. “We need more defense support for that.”

Leaders of Western allies strongly denounced Russia’s attacks and vowed to continue backing Ukraine. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau were among those who personally assured Zelenskyy of their solidarity in phone calls.

U.S. President Joe Biden likewise condemned Moscow’s “unprovoked and unjustified attack” as he promised to provide advanced armored vehicles to aid Ukraine’s defensive and counteroffensive capabilities. His administration recently approved the shipment of 50 Bradley fighting vehicles and said it was considering sending M1 Abrams tanks as well.

Meanwhile, Germany announced plans to supply around 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles and France offered light tanks to Ukraine in the coming weeks. Kyiv has persistently requested more heavy armor from NATO members to match Russian forces in combined arms operations.

Military analysts predict the war’s next phase could involve fierce battles in the Donbas and Zaporizhzhia regions as both sides move additional forces and equipment to the front ahead of anticipated spring offensives. Securing Western tanks and armored vehicles will be vital for Ukraine’s chances of reclaiming occupied territories, they say.

Next Steps and Outlook

In the wake of Russia’s expanded missile offensive and evacuation along the Belgorod border, experts foresee the Kremlin escalating attacks on critical civilian infrastructure while struggling to contain Ukraine’s pushback in occupied areas.

Even as Moscow musters reinforcements from other theaters, its frontline forces appear severely depleted after months of heavy casualties. Growing dissent in Russia over the flailing war effort may also constrain the military’s options going forward.

For its part, Ukraine aims to capitalize on momentum gained in the east with the aid of committed Western security assistance. But authorities must grapple with regular missile barrages disrupting electricity and heating for millions while also preparing their troops for grueling battles ahead.

With both sides preparing for the long haul, many anticipate the real test will come amid spring offensives. Ukraine’s prospects may ultimately depend on the West’s willingness to take the risky gambles needed to give Kyiv the upper hand over Russia’s brute force.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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