- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 5, 2022

Residents of Kyiv received a harsh reminder that Ukraine is still a country at war as a salvo of Russian missiles fell on two outlying districts of the capital early Sunday.

Both sides confirmed the attack, which was the first on Kyiv since late April.

A planned direct assault on the capital following Moscow‘s Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbor was turned back by Ukrainian forces and almost all of the fighting in recent months has focused in Ukraine‘s eastern and southern regions, far from Kyiv.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that the “precision” strikes targeted the flow of U.S. and Western military aid pouring into Ukraine to help turn back the invaders, including T-72 tanks supplied by Eastern European countries and other armored vehicles located in buildings of a car-repair business.

Top Ukrainian officials said among the sites hit were properties of the state rail company, Ukrzaliznytsia, the Associated Press reported.

Russian airstrikes in the eastern city of Druzhkivka also destroyed buildings and left at least one person dead, a Ukrainian official said Sunday. The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces were seeking to destroy workshops in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine that were repairing damaged Ukrainian military equipment, according to the AP.

SEE ALSO: In a war gone sideways, some Russian hawks push Putin to do more

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his irritation at the supplies going into Ukraine, in particular, longer-range rockets from the U.S. and Britain that some say could turn the tide of the war of attrition now underway in Ukraine‘s disputed Donbas region.

“We will strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting,” Mr. Putin told the state-controlled Rossiya television network.  “All this fuss around additional deliveries of weapons, in my opinion, has only one goal: To drag out the armed conflict as much as possible.”

Kyiv officials said long-range, air-launched missiles fired by Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers in the Caspian Sea appeared to have been used in the attack. The Reuters news agency reported that dark smoke could be seen over two districts on the outskirts of the capital.

With the fighting focused elsewhere, life in the capital was reported to be returning to something resembling normalcy over the past month, with services resuming and public transportation lines restarting. Top Western officials have traveled to the capital to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the U.S. was one of a number of countries that have returned diplomats and reopened embassies in the city.

“The Kremlin resorts to new insidious attacks,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak tweeted. “Today’s missile strikes at Kyiv have only one goal — kill as many as possible.”

There were no immediate reports of deaths from the strike and one person was reportedly hospitalized after the attack.

SEE ALSO: Pope Francis asks world leaders ‘do not lead humanity to ruin’ in Pentecost remarks

For its part, Ukraine claimed to have regained some momentum in the fighting in the east, with a counterattack that reclaimed some positions from Russian forces in the fierce fight to the city of Sievierodonetsk, the largest city in the Donbas region not controlled by Russia.

British military intelligence, which has been issuing daily updates on the fighting, said the Ukrainian counterattacks had “blunted” the force of recent Russian advances in the region. Having taken heavy losses to its initial invasion force, Russian commanders are said to be deploying reserve forces from pro-Moscow Ukrainian separatist forces against the battle-hardened Ukrainian government forces.

“These troops are poorly equipped and trained, and lack heavy equipment in comparison to regular Russian units,” the intelligence update said, adding that the move “indicates a desire to limit casualties suffered by regular Russian forces.”

• This article was based in part on wire-service reports.

• David R. Sands can be reached at dsands@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide