After five weeks of a relatively safe atmosphere in Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv, Russia has launched strikes in the capital city, apparently targeting Western-donated tanks in an apparent move to show that it still has striking capabilities well within Ukrainian soil.

Fighting has largely been focused in the east in Severodonetsk and in the south, where Ukrainians are trying to liberate the southern port city of Kherson. Russia, partly being annoyed by all the support Ukraine is getting from its western allies, decided it was a good idea to take out some of these western-donated tanks.

This attack comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned Kyiv that it would destroy any Western deliveries of long-range rocket systems to Ukraine after the US announced that it would be donating $700 million worth of military equipment, which include four M142 HIMARS to Ukraine along with five counter-artillery radars, two air surveillance radars, 1,000 Javelins, 6,000 anti-armor weapons, four Mi-17 helicopters, and some 15,000 15mm artillery rounds.

The Russian President stated that they would “strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting” as Western arms were actively prolonging the conflict, according to Putin. He also went on to say that the drones donated by western states were “cracking them like nuts” as “dozens” were claimed to be destroyed by Russian air defenses.

“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,” Putin said to Rossiya 1, adding that the western donation of HIMARS was just something to make up for the losses of the military equipment Russia had already destroyed.

“We understand that this supply [of advance rocket systems] from the United States and some other countries is meant to make up for the losses of this military equipment,” Putin stated. “This is nothing new. It doesn’t change anything in essence,” he added.

Targeting donated T-72s (possibly from Poland), explosions were heard in the areas of Darnytskyi and Dniprovskyi last Sunday. According to the Russians, it had successfully destroyed these T-72 tanks that, according to them, were just sitting in storage at random car repair businesses.

The Ukrainian authorities were quick to deny this. Chair of the Board of the Ukrainian Railways Oleksandr Kamyshin said that there were no tanks at the facilities they bombed and that all that were present in those buildings were “cars that we repair.”

“There are no such tanks at the plant, as well as no military equipment. There are only cars that we repair. These carriages we need for export – these are, in particular, grain carriages,” Kamyshin said.

Apparently, what Russia actually hit were rail car storage facilities where the railway system would repair these carriages. It was hit by four missiles, which are suspected to be X-22 cruise missiles (British intel says they were Kh-101) fired from the Caspian Sea. One had been destroyed by air defenses, but the four missiles managed to hit Kyiv, as said before.

Ukrainian car repair facility in Kyiv hit by a Russian cruise missile (Walter Report). Source:
The Ukrainian car repair facility in Kyiv was hit by a Russian cruise missile (Walter Report/Twitter)

As proof that no tanks were within the train facility, journalists from the Associated Press went on a guided tour of the facility after it had been hit. No debris or remnants of military equipment were seen within the bomb site. However, they did hit a warehouse that was a tank-repair facility. Here, the Ukrainian police blocked access to the plant.

What does this mean? Russia still has some credible intel coming out of Ukraine if they know where the stored tanks are. Sure they did not hit any T-72s from the railway facility as what the Associated Press saw, but it can certainly be the case that they did hit a few tanks (or military equipment) located in that tank-repair facility nearby the railway facility; otherwise, why would the Ukrainian police and military not let them see what was inside and ban taking photos altogether?

It can also be the case that Russia was really targeting the railway facilities on purpose to prevent the deliveries of the military equipment to the frontlines. More so, if these railway systems also transported Ukrainian goods that could be exported out of the country, then Russia would have bombed it for the same purpose they are bombing Ukrainian grain export terminals in Mykolaiv.

Russia has been accused of waging war by using food insecurity as a bargaining chip in its invasion of Ukraine. Possibly using the lack of grain in the world supply, it is using what grain it stole from Ukraine as leverage to possibly initiate talks on lifting some sanctions. However, this seems unlikely at the moment as the Kremlin shows no interest in talking to Ukraine or the majority of the world.

As a result of the bombings in Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported on the Telegram app that one victim was hospitalized as he was working within the facilities when the missile struck it. Furthermore, the Russians were also accused of endangering Ukraine with a nuclear disaster as one of the cruise missiles came dangerously close to the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant.

In response to the latest Kyiv attacks, Adviser to the Ukrainian President Mykhailo Podolyak said in a Tweet that:

“While someone asks not to humiliate Russia, the Kremlin resorts to new insidious attacks. Today’s missile strikes at Kyiv have only one goal – kill as many Ukrainians as possible. Each of such terrorist attacks must face a tough response from European capitals: more sanctions, more weapons.”