Russian forces launched what authorities reported was an unprecedented number of missiles at Kyiv, Lviv, and other major cities in Ukraine on Thursday morning, escalating their fight against the nation as their ground struggle continues in the east.
In a “massive attack.” The Ukrainian military declared that 81 missiles were launched, including six Kinzhal ballistic missiles capable of bypassing air defense systems in Kyiv.
Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of Ukraine, said on Ukrainian television Thursday:
“The attack is really large-scale and for the first time using such different types of missiles. We see that this time as many as six Kinzhal were used. This is an attack like I don’t remember seeing before.”
“So far, we have no capabilities to counter these weapons,” he added, referring to the Kinzhals, plus six X-22 air-launched cruise missiles launched by Russian forces.
On Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky posted on Facebook, declaring that the night had been difficult.
“The enemy fired 81 missiles in an attempt to intimidate Ukrainians again, returning to their miserable tactics. The occupiers can only terrorize civilians. That’s all they can do. But it won’t help them. They won’t avoid responsibility for everything they have done,” Zelensky said.
He stated that aerial assaults were perpetrated in 10 locales in Ukraine, such as Dnipro, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia, with critical structures and homes being the targets.
So far the only convincing footage of a KH-47M2 Kinzhal. March 2022 heading to a nuclear hardened underground ammo bunker in the west of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/kNMlbxD6Wu
— Critical Face Theory (@sofdmc) March 9, 2023
On March 9, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, three Russian rockets launched from Russia’s Belgorod region were visible as the day began.
He expressed his condolences to the families, noting that there were unfortunately injured and dead.
In the early weeks of their invasion, Russia employed the nuclear-capable Kinzhal missile, advertised as a hypersonic weapon, on a few occasions. Nevertheless, Ukraine, which needs to be equipped to intercept the formidable missile, has rarely witnessed it in its airspace.
Regional authorities have reported that at least 11 individuals have been killed, and over 20 others have been hurt in the assaults that happened overnight.
Early Thursday morning Kyiv experienced a lengthy air raid warning, and some power outages were implemented as a safety precaution, according to regional officials. In addition, the Zolochiv area close to Lviv saw a fire start up when fragments of a Russian missile were shot down, said the same regional authorities.
On Thursday morning, the fire utterly destroyed three homes, and three cars were also damaged. The wreckage was being removed, and rescuers were looking for additional casualties. Additionally, other structures and infrastructure were damaged in other parts of Ukraine.
Smoke billowed up from the courtyard of a residential building in the Sviatoshynskyi district, caused by missile remains that had landed there. People around the area looked on in shock.
On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the missile attacks they launched were a retaliatory measure against what they labeled “terrorist activities” occurring in Bryansk, Russia, that were organized by Ukraine the previous week.
The Ministry reported that highly accurate long-range missiles, the Kinzhal hypersonic missile among them, targeted significant elements of the Ukrainian military infrastructure, military-industrial complexes, and energy sources that provide service to them.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that a Ukrainian armed faction had trespassed into the Russian-controlled region of Bryansk last week. President Putin labeled the occurrence a “terrorist attack,” A local representative stated that two civilians perished.
CNN cannot confirm the veracity of the Russian claims, and no visuals of the reported occurrences, disputes, or raids provided by the Russian government were found on local media.
Kyiv’s Defense Ministry dismissed Russia’s justification for its Thursday assaults, comparing the Kremlin’s “retaliation” pretext to the propaganda used by German Nazis in attempting to legitimize the deployment of V-1 flying bombs over London during WWII. The Ministry referred to the two as “brothers in spirit.”
Infrequent Deployment of the Kinzhal Missile
The Kremlin has changed its strategy due to the utilization of a massive and unpredictable array of arms.
In 2018, Putin presented the Kinzhal, an updated, air-launched version of the Iskander SRBM often used in Ukraine, as a fundamental element of a renewed Russian armory.
The ballistic missile can reach hypersonic speeds of up to Mach 12 and is able to be launched from MiG-31 fighter jets. This feature gives it a much longer range (about 1,900 miles) and the potential to come from multiple directions.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) suggests that the unique missile created by Russia has the potential to target critical infrastructure in Europe more effectively due to its speed, as well as its unpredictable flight trajectory and maneuverability, which could make interception difficult.
In March of last year, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reported that Russia had deployed this missile against Ukraine for the first time. This weapon was again utilized in May.
Rescuers were seen taking a corpse from dwellings that a Russian missile strike destroyed on March 9.
Thursday’s attacks saw the deployment of eight drones constructed in Iran, as informed by the authorities. Ahead of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s trip to Israel, a high-ranking American defense official commented that Ukraine is turning into a testing ground for Iranian arms outside the Middle East. Iranian-Russian military collaboration is expected to be discussed during the visit.
The official noted that it is essential to be ready for any potential threats when Iran applies the methods it has experienced in Ukraine to the Middle East.
Attention in Ukraine was directed towards Bakhmut, a city in the east that Russian forces had been attacking for a while and appeared to be ready to take control of.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took a trip to the city of Bakhmut, where he discussed his vision for the future of Ukraine. He expressed his commitment to his nation’s progress, highlighting the importance of security and growing the economy. Zelensky also noted his desire to maintain good relations with the international community.
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Zelensky has cautioned of a potential “open road” through eastern Ukraine should Russia seize control of Bakhmut, despite pressure to withdraw.
In his exclusive talk with CNN, President Zelensky recently shared his thoughts on Bakhmut. He stated that he was born in the city and would always be his home. Zelensky highlighted that the people of Bakhmut were always with him during his presidential campaign and will always remain in his heart. He further expressed his hope that the city will continue to develop and that the people of Bakhmut will continue to be cared for. He concluded by expressing his gratitude to the people of Bakhmut for the support they had given him.
Ukraine’s forces have held their ground in the city, despite some military specialists suggesting a tactical retreat.
Zelensky declared on Tuesday that Ukraine’s action in Bakhmut is “strategically planned.” He further warned that if the Russians were to seize the city, they could move towards other significant areas to the west.
“We understand that after Bakhmut they could go further. They could go to Kramatorsk; they could go to Sloviansk, it would be open road for the Russians after Bakhmut to other towns in Ukraine, in the Donetsk direction,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview from Kyiv. “That’s why our guys are standing there.”
On Thursday, the death toll in Ukraine resulting from recent attacks was revised to 11 instead of the previously reported 16.
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