On Friday, powerful explosions could be heard in Kyiv and fighting raged east after Ukraine claimed responsibility in sinking the Russian Navy’s Black Sea flagship. This would be one the most devastating blows of war.
Since Russian troops withdrew from the region earlier in the month to prepare for battles in the south, the explosions seemed to be the largest in Ukraine’s capital.
According to Ukraine, the missile-cruiser Moskva was hit by a Neptune antiship missile. According to Russia’s defense ministry, the Soviet-era ship was sinking as it was being town to port by a Neptune anti-ship missile.
The ministry stated that more than 500 crew members were evacuated without acknowledging an attack.
Russian navy continues to bombard Ukrainian cities on Black Sea, nearly 50 days after invading the country to expel far-right nationalists.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian President, paid tribute to all those who “stopped the progress of the endless convoys Russian military equipment…Those who proved that Russian ships can get… to the bottom.”
The explosions in Kyiv, Kherson, in the south, and Kharkiv’s eastern city were not immediately reported as causing damage.
According to Ukraine’s armed forces, Russian attacks on the towns Popasna (north of Mariupol) were defeated and several tanks and other armoured vehicle destroyed. Reuters could not verify these reports.
It doesn’t matter what the reason for the Moskva’s defeat, it’s a setback to Russia and a boost for Ukraine’s defenders.
Russia’s navy fired cruise missiles into Ukraine, and its Black Sea activities are vital to support land operations in the east and south. Russia is fighting to take full control of Mariupol.
The United States claimed that it didn’t have sufficient information to determine if the Moskva had been hit by a missile.
Jake Sullivan, national security advisor, stated that Russia’s actions were a major blow.
Russia launched its “special military operations” to invade Ukraine on February 24, partly to discourage Kyiv and other countries of the former Eastern Bloc from joining NATO.
However, more setbacks have been made for Moscow by Finland and Sweden, who share a long border to Russia. NATO that Russia could deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic rockets to an enclave within the heart of Europe if Sweden or Finland joined.
William Burns, Director of the CIA, stated that the threat from Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine was not something to be taken lightly. However, the agency hadn’t seen any evidence supporting this concern.
BATTLE FOR MARIUPOL
Kyiv and its allies claim that Russia launched an unprovoked conflict that saw more than 4.6million people flee to Russia and left thousands of others wounded or killed.
Russia claimed Wednesday that over 1,000 Ukrainian marines belonging to one of the remaining units in Mariupol had surrendered. Ukrainian officials declined to comment.
Mariupol, if taken, would be the first major Russian city to fall since the invasion. This allowed Moscow to strengthen a land corridor linking the eastern Donbas regions and the Crimea region, which it annexed in 2014.
According to Ukraine, tens of thousands of people are believed to have died in Mariupol. There were efforts to evacuate civilians.
Late Thursday, Russia’s defense ministry stated that 815 people were evacuated from the city in the last 24 hours. Ukraine stated that the figure was 289