Russia fired missiles at Kyiv for the first time in more than a month, and President Vladimir Putin threatened that if western nations supplied Ukraine with longer-range missiles, he would hit new targets in the country. Ukraine officials said a counter-attack has retaken half of Sievierodonetsk, the biggest battleground in the east where Russia has recently concentrated its forces.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Lysychansk and Solar, south of Sievierodonetsk. The travels were his first trips outside of the city since the Russian invasion began on February 24, and they may have brought him the closest to the frontlines yet.
One person was hospitalized in the Kyiv incident, while there were no early reports of casualties. After Russia’s strike on two distant regions on Sunday, dark smoke could be seen for kilometers. Ukraine said the strike targeted a train car maintenance facility, while Russia claimed it destroyed tanks delivered to Ukraine by Eastern European countries.
The chief of the Ukrainian railway, Oleksandr Kamyshin, stated that four missiles had hit the Darnytsia train car maintenance plant in eastern Kyiv, but denied that military weaponry was present.
The strike served as a stark reminder of the conflict in Kyiv, where normalcy has mostly returned since Russian soldiers were pushed out of the city’s outskirts in March. “missile strikes at Kyiv have only one goal – kill as many as possible”, Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine’s presidential adviser, wrote on Twitter.
Ukraine said that Russia used long-range air-launched missiles fired from heavy aircraft as far away as the Caspian Sea to carry out the Kyiv assault. A Russian cruise missile flew “critically low” over Ukraine’s second-biggest nuclear power facility, according to the country’s nuclear power operator.
The attack on Kyiv on Sunday was the city’s first major attack since a rocket killed a journalist in late April. In what it calls a mission to undermine Ukraine’s military infrastructure and disrupt Western weaponry shipments, Russia has recently focused its destructive force on front lines in the east and south, while it occasionally hits elsewhere.
Last week, the US announced that it will transfer powerful medium-range missile systems to Ukraine. On Sunday, Ukrainian forces withstood seven strikes in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, destroying four tanks and shooting down a combat helicopter, according to the military.
Russian soldiers have been marching north of the Siverskiy Donets river near Donetsk, in preparation for what Ukraine expects to be a drive on the large city of Sloviansk.