Russia-Ukraine war: 'Missile strikes on Kyiv will increase,' says Russia
After slamming Ukraine for allegedly targeting its border towns, Russia's Defence Ministry on Friday warned it would increase missile attacks on Kyiv in response to strikes on Russian soil. Moscow accused Ukraine of sending helicopters to bomb a village in Russia's Bryansk region, injuring eight people. The ministry also said Russian forces have targeted a military factory outside Kyiv using Kalibr sea-based long-range missiles.
Why does this story matter?
Russia's warning of intensifying the "number and scale" of attacks on Kyiv came after the alleged Ukrainian helicopter attack on Bryank, which Kyiv denied carrying out. It also followed the sinking of Russia's Black Sea Fleet flagship, Moskva, which Ukraine claimed was hit with its Neptune missiles. Moreover, the Russia-Ukraine war, which began on February 24, entered its 51st day on Friday.
Russia targeted Ukraine's Vizar military factory
Ukraine's Vizar military factory—outside Kyiv—which manufactures and repairs anti-ship missiles, was the target of Russia's late-Thursday attack. Meanwhile, Russia's Defence Ministry also claimed that Mariupol's Ilyich steel and iron plant, Ukraine's second-largest steel producer, had been "liberated" from Ukrainian forces, Reuters reported. Also, Moscow has been focusing its military efforts on eastern Ukraine with the goal of seizing the strategic port city of Mariupol.
Russia accuses Ukraine of attacking civilians
Russia's Defence Ministry also claimed that its S-400 missile system took down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter on Thursday for carrying out "an attack on civilians in the locality of Klimovo in the Bryansk region," where eight people have been injured.
Ukrainian side of the story
Ukraine has denied the helicopter attack, accusing Russia of orchestrating events in order to incite "anti-Ukrainian hysteria" in Russia. Moreover, on Friday, it claimed that Russia targeted civilian evacuees in eastern Ukraine, killing seven and injuring more than two dozen people. On the other hand, it also claimed approximately 19,800 Russian security personnel have been killed since February 24, when the war broke out.
President of the United States to visit Ukraine soon
Meanwhile, as per reports, US President Joe Biden said he is "ready to go" to Ukraine at a time Washington is planning to send "top officials" to show solidarity with the war-torn nation. Recently, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Kyiv.
What exactly does Russia want to do in Ukraine?
Earlier, the Ukrainian military claimed Russia was preparing to attain full control of the Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which have been held partially by Russia-backed separatists since 2014. Moreover, the British Defence Ministry earlier warned air attacks in the southern and eastern Ukraine were likely to increase as Moscow attempts to connect Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, with the Donbas region.