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8 Jan, 2024 14:14

Russia conducts major strikes on key Ukrainian military-industrial sites

Officials in Kiev say they failed to intercept any of Moscow’s Kinzhal hypersonic missiles
Russia conducts major strikes on key Ukrainian military-industrial sites

Russia has announced that its forces have conducted a range of missile strikes targeting Ukraine’s military-industrial base. Kiev has confirmed the attacks, admitting that its air defenses failed to intercept most  of the projectiles.

In a statement on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had carried out “a group strike” using high-precision sea- and air-based weapons, including Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. The barrage, which took place in the morning, targeted military-industrial facilities, officials said, without providing details on the results of the attack.

According to the Ukrainian Air Force, the attack targeted various types of facilities in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and Khmelnitsky regions as well as in the parts of Zaporozhye region controlled by Kiev.

Authorities in the Khmelnitsky region reported six explosions, adding that one attack targeted an unspecified infrastructure facility. Local officials said that at least two people had been killed in the strikes.

Officials in Kharkov said that at least four rocket strikes had damaged an unnamed business and an educational institution, claiming there had been several casualties, including an elderly woman.

The Ukrainian Air Force said that it had managed to shoot down only 18 out of 51 missiles it claims Russia had launched. It admitted failure to intercept all four Kinzhal, six Iskander-M, and eight X-22 missiles. Yury Ignat, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, explained that Russia had launched a large number of ballistic rockets that he said could only be shot down by US-made Patriots or other similarly advanced air defense systems.

The latest strike wave comes after The New York Times reported on Saturday that White House and Pentagon officials had warned that they would be unable to provide Ukraine with Patriot missiles, as US Republicans continue to block president Joe Biden’s supplemental funding request, which includes a possinble $60 billion for Kiev. The GOP has repeatedly demanded that the Biden administration do more to enhance US border security as a prerequisite for a potential deal.

Russia has ramped up its airstrikes on Ukraine’s military targets and critical infrastructure in the wake of what it called “terrorist attacks” on Belgorod and Donetsk. The strikes killed dozens of civilians, including several children, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to vow retaliation, while insisting that Moscow’s own attacks would not target civilians.